Semi Truck Accidents

What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?


Jackknife accidents are extremely dangerous.  Unfortunately, the operation of large commercial trucks on highways presents certain unique dangers that are uncommon and some what foreign with ordinary passenger vehicles. "Jackknifing” a vehicle can occur with 18-wheeler trucks. 

Large eighteen-wheelers are prone to "jackknifing" under certain conditions, especially during sudden hard braking. Each and every year numerous truck accidents are caused when eighteen wheel trucks' axle brakes lock up, during braking. This causes the truck to go into a skid and the trailer that is being towed will swing out and stop to the left or right, forming a 90 degree angle with the rig or cab of truck. Truck accidents due to jackknifing often occur when the drive wheels are locked when they reach a slick spot while the front wheels and the trailer continue rolling forward.  Jackknifing can occur at low or high speeds.

Some trucks are more likely to jackknife than others. For example, a half empty tanker is more than twice as likely to be involved in a jackknifing truck accident than a fully loaded semi truck. Also slippery roads can often cause a truck accident from jackknifing.  As truck accident lawyers in Texas, our attorneys are been involved in cases where the argument was successfully made that the slippery, wet conditions required more prudent driving by the truck driver given the hazardous condition of slicks raods and heavy rain.

Our Truck Accident Lawyers know that truck accidents from jackknifing can be avoided by prudent braking and additional driver training. For it is known that when an eighteen wheel truck driver is required to hit the breaks, he has three basic braking options in his effort to avoid a truck accident. The truck driver can (1) lock up the steering axle brakes, (2) he or she can lock the drive axles or (3) he or she can lock the trailer axles. The potential outcomes depend upon which option the driver chooses. If the driver attempts to avoid the truck accident by locking up the steering axle brakes, the eighteen wheeler will typically straighten under most road conditions. But if the driver seeks to avoid the truck accident by locking the drive axles, the truck is more likely to jackknife. The worst option - and the most common in causing numberous truck accidents is when the driver locks up the trailer brakes. The lockihng of trailer brakes often leads to the trailer swinging to the left or right.  This trailer swing frequently leads to major trucking accidents.

If you need advice or counsel on a trucking accident or just have questions - call us day or night, we are available 24 hours a day seven days a week. For your convenience, we offer free initial consultations, without obligation.  Call 1.800.862.1260.

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