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Causes of jackknife truck collisions

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2019 | Truck Accidents

For people in West Virginia, truck accidents pose a serious threat on the road. Jackknifing is a particularly dangerous situation on the highway for tractor-trailer drivers to avoid. When a trailer jackknifes, the wheels on the trailer lose traction, and it swings up into a close angle with the cab of a large truck. The front cab or tractor can also jackknife although this is less common. Any pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles in the way may be crushed or seriously affected.

In many truck accidents involving jackknifing, the trailers of these large trucks are empty of cargo. The weight of the cargo in a large truck helps to weigh the vehicle down on the road. This increases its level of friction and helps to prevent unsteady movements. Truck brakes, if functioning properly, are powerful. When they are applied, especially quickly, to a truck with an empty trailer, the trailer may swing back and forth too easily. Hard braking is always dangerous, but this is especially true when large trucks are involved. Other jackknife trucking collisions occur because the driver is not yet fully trained. Unskilled drivers backing up large trucks are more likely to become stuck in a jackknife position on the road.

There are several types of technologies that can help to reduce the risks of these types of truck crashes. Anti-lock brakes can help to prevent them, especially as brakes that lock up are a common danger. These brakes help to mitigate the risk of excessively hard braking. Load-sensing regulators also help to mediate brake usage for trucks with light loads.

In some cases, poor maintenance or trucking company negligence is to blame for a trucking accident involving a jackknife. People injured in a truck crash may consult with a personal injury attorney about the potential to pursue compensation for their damages.