Jackknife Truck Accidents

March 16, 2020

Jackknife is commonly associated with truck accidents, you may hear it on the news when there is a traffic jam on the highway. A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer of a truck suddenly goes perpendicular to the tractor. If the driver has to brake suddenly and the tires do not grip correctly, it causes wheels to lock up, and the rear-trailer could swing out of control. If a jackknife accident occurs on the road, it could cause catastrophic damage for everyone involved.

Sudden Braking

It is often assumed that these accidents occur on highways and that it is the driver’s fault. However, the majority of jackknife accidents happen when the driver must brake hard in response to a sudden, emergency event.

Preventing Jackknife Accidents

With proper care and awareness, jackknife accidents can be prevented by commercial truck drivers and everyday commuters alike. Some safety driving tips include:

  • Driving at safe distances: One of the first things you learn when starting to drive is to maintain a safe distance from other moving vehicles, especially when travelling at highway speeds or if weather conditions are not ideal. This applies to the truck driver and a normal driver. A truck driver can lose control of their trailer easily and brake suddenly in response to another reckless driver, so it is important that all drivers travel at safe distances.
  • Inspecting the wheels on the truck: Truck drivers should also practice maintaining their vehicles properly. Tire maintenance is vital since tires support the entire car. Tires need sufficient tread and friction to grip and stop heavy loads; if wheels locks, it can cause the driver to lose control.
  • Maintaining brakes: Brake maintenance is just as important as any other maintenance. Although anti-lock brakes have improved over time, a truck’s complex braking system still needs to be maintained to work properly and safely.
  • Adjusting to weather conditions: There are other factors that can cause a jackknife incident, like dangerous weather conditions.
  • Adjusting to cargo loads: Empty trailers weigh significantly less than a loaded trailer. It is easier to lose control of an empty trailer if the driver is not prepared. When possible, truck drivers should frequently check their trailers through their mirrors in case of swaying.

Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Defend Those Injured by Negligent Truck Drivers

All drivers can reduce their chances of being injured in a catastrophic accident by practicing safe driving and proper maintenance. If you have been injured in a truck accident due to a truck driver’s negligence, it best to speak to one of our experienced Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers about your options. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we fight hard to protect the rights of injured truck accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 to schedule a free consultation about your case. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.


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