Red Semi tipped over from a crash

How Do Jackknife Accidents Happen?

Many of us are familiar with jackknife accidents since they’re often characterized by a truck splayed across multiple lanes of a highway.

But how, exactly, do jackknife accidents happen? We discuss common causes and how truckers may be able to prevent them.

What is a Jackknife Accident?

A jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s trailer gets out of alignment with the towing part of a truck and forms an L or V-shape, similar to a knife whose blade folds into the handle.

The most common cause of jackknife accidents is a loss of traction between the truck’s tires and the road. Loss of traction may happen due to slick pavement or poor brake maintenance and performance. This will cause the truck’s tires to skid on the road as opposed to rolling.

In this situation, a truck driver’s first instinct may be to slam on the brakes. This, however, causes the truck’s trailer to keep moving forward while the towing cab of the truck has stopped, thus creating the characteristic L or V-shape.

Can You Prevent a Jackknife Accident?

There are certain measures that truck drivers can take to reduce the chances of getting into a jackknife accident, including the following:

  • Check mirrors regularly for trailer swing, which indicates a loss of traction.

  • Decelerate slowly to allow the tires to regain traction with the road.

  • Avoid slamming on the brakes whenever possible.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact Us Today

If you have been injured in a truck accident, our personal injury attorneys are here to help you through it. We’ll launch an immediate investigation to determine the cause of the crash and all liable parties.

Our top priority is to recover maximum possible compensation for you so you can pay for your sudden medical bills and lost wages without issue.

Contact Pearson Butler today at (800) 265-2314 to schedule a consultation.