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Jackknife Accidents – Causes, Risks, and Injuries

Jackknife Accidents – Causes, Risks, and InjuriesA jackknife accident involves a tractor-trailer with the trailer swinging out from the rear to the side; the configuration appears as a “V” or “L” when it comes to a rest. When a trailer skids out to the side, the movement is referred to as a trailer swing or slew. The name jackknife comes from the appearance of the rig and swung-out-trailer as that of a folding pocketknife.

Jackknife accidents pose significant dangers. They are often responsible for damaging roadways and property. Highways are sometimes closed for hours in the aftermath of one of these accidents. Many vehicles may be involved in a jackknife collision with the entire scene covering two, three, or more lanes of traffic.

Of even more importance than property damages is the devastation caused to human life that is often involved. Truckers are in great danger when one of the accidents occurs. Drivers and passengers of other smaller vehicles on the road are also in danger during jackknife accident. It is difficult for drivers of passenger cars to avoid these accidents when they occur quickly and at high speeds.

Common reasons for jackknife accidents

Jackknifing happens when the driver of a semi suddenly applies the breaks hard. These accidents are more likely to occur on curved roadways than straight roadways. Some of the most common reasons why jackknife accidents occur include:

  • Speeding: If a trucker speeds with an 40 ton load, the results can be disastrous. If the driver breaks suddenly when speeding he or she can easily lose control of the vehicle as it jackknifes.
  • Mechanical failure:If the semi-truck has a faulty transmission, brake issues, or other defective parts, the truck can easily jackknife.
  • Trucker fatigue: Tired truckers due to logging excessive hours behind the wheel can result in loss of control and jackknifing.
  • Load security:  Improper loading of cargo can cause the cargo to shift, making the trailer slide, and leading to a truck jackknife. Big rigs carrier lighter loads also have a greater propensity to jackknife.
  • Inexperienced trucker: Companies that short-cut the hiring and evaluation process or hire inexperience drivers are asking for accidents.
  • Inclement weather:Jackknifing is much more likely on wet or icy roads in which the driver loses control.

Common jackknife accident injuries

Semi-truck accidents involving jackknifing can result in serious injuries due to the speed and mass of the vehicles involved. Some injuries that can result from these accidents include:

If someone else’s negligence has led to a jackknife accident in which you or a loved one was injured, our Chattanooga truck accident lawyers and Wagner Workers Compensation & Personal Injury Lawyers are ready to help. We are your strong legal advocates to hold the responsible party to account for your injuries. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation about your accident and injuries, call us today at 423.454.3394, or send us a message through our contact form. We offer our services to Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, and throughout North Georgia.