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Trucking 101: Understanding & Avoiding Jackknife Accidents

There are few experiences as terrifying as losing control of an 80,000-pound vehicle. Sadly, it’s a common enough occurrence that one out of every ten traffic fatalities involves a commercial motor vehicle. While all truck collisions are dangerous, one of the deadliest accident scenarios is a “jackknife” wreck.

What Is a Jackknife Accident?

A jackknife wreck occurs when a truck skids, causing the attached trailer to swing to one side like a folding pocketknife. By the time the vehicle comes to a stop, it’s likely blocking multiple highway lanes. Most car drivers aren’t prepared for this situation and often crash directly into the trailer or other nearby vehicles.

The following factors and scenarios can cause a truck to jackknife:

  • The trailer axles lock due to improper brake adjustment and negligent vehicle maintenance
  • The driver is speeding and is forced to quickly slam on the brakes
  • The tires lose traction due to poor weather or road conditions
  • The trucker attempts an evasive maneuver at a steep angle
  • The driver experiences fatigue after trying to meet unreasonable company demands
  • The trucker is inexperienced in operating such a large vehicle

A trucker can decrease the risk of experiencing a jackknife crash by: avoiding swerving and sudden evasive actions; keep a safe distance from other vehicles; never speeding; braking early and appropriately; and being careful at risky bends and turns. If an accident is in progress, the trucker can also try to steer the vehicle into a skid to avoid blocking lanes.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Schedule a Consultation Today.

Experiencing and surviving a jackknife crash can be a devastating and life-altering event. If you’re struggling under the weight of various injury-related expenses, contact the Austin truck accident lawyers at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC. Our legal team has the experience and resources to effectively investigate your case and negotiate with trucking companies and their insurance providers. In fact, our founding attorney, Stephen Stewart, has a comprehensive understanding of state traffic laws and the regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

You can rely on our legal team to develop a litigation strategy based on expert reconstructions, witness testimonies, police reports, medical records, the truck’s onboard date recorder, and more. With this vital evidence, we can prove that the negligent parties are responsible for your injuries. If you want to maximize your claim, turn to The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC today.

Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 326-3200 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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