Jackknife accidents are common among large trucks, semis and tractor trailers. However, any vehicle that’s pulling a trailer can jackknife.
Unfortunately, these accidents can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious injuries for the driver and others on the road. Getting to know some of the causes of jackknife accidents may help you stay safe on Georgia roadways. Here are three common reasons for jackknifes:
1. Brake failure
A leading cause of jackknife truck accidents is brake failure. Usually, brakes in large trucks fail due to improper configuration of brake control equipment or poor maintenance. If the brakes fail, the trailer may swing away from the truck. The trailer may push through the truck if the brakes aren’t responsive enough.
Reckless driving, such as speeding, may cause a truck to jackknife when it stops suddenly. That’s because most trailers are heavy, with some weighing more than 80,000 pounds. Since the trailer weighs so much more than the truck, if the stop is sudden enough, the trailer may push the truck or tow vehicle out of the way, creating an L-shaped jackknife. Any vehicles in other lanes may be struck as the trailer moves out of its proper position.
3. Road conditions
Conditions on the road may cause jackknife accidents. Bad weather, such as snow and storms, makes the roads slippery, which makes trucks more likely to slide. Roads that are in poor condition can also cause jackknife accidents. If a driver attempts to miss a pothole in the road, the trailer may swing out from the truck, losing control and resulting in a jackknife situation.
Protecting your rights after a truck accident
If you are involved in a truck jackknife accident, it may be possible to hold the driver, trucking company, or maintenance provider liable for your injuries and damages. It’s important to know what your legal rights are so you can recover the compensation you are entitled to.