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What Causes Truck Jackknife Accidents?

Posted by Trent Kelly on November 9, 2020
What Causes Truck Jackknife Accidents?

Due to their sheer mass, weight, and gross cargo contents, large truck accidents are amongst the deadliest accidents that unfold on our highways. What are the greatest risk factors for these accidents, and what can be done about them? 

Big freight and semi-trailer trucks play a vital role in the transportation and delivery of goods around the country. That said, like all industries, the trucking industry is run by people, and people are never 100% infallible to hazardous elements or plain human error.

Accidents happen, and with tens of thousands of pounds in metal thrown into the equation, those accidents can get ugly fast. One of the most common truck accidents, jackknifing, occurs when half the vehicle (whether trailer or cab) skids and folds in on itself. Because of the violent brute force behind them and the folded-knife shape the truck takes following these accidents, that’s where they get their namesake.

What causes such accidents, and how could Austin truck accident lawyers help you navigate the immediate fallout of one? Read on to learn more.

Understanding the Basics of Truck Jackknife Accidents

Three effective factors mitigate jackknife accidents from happening more often:

  1. Fair weather conditions
  2. Stable road conditions
  3. A well-trained, well-rested commercial driver 

Of course, the first two points lie outside a driver’s control, but with innovations like electromagnetic brakes, anti-lock brakes, and hydraulic braking regulators, it’s easier than ever for truckers to maintain control regardless of the elements. 

Unfortunately, there are a lot more factors that could still throw a wrench in the mix and trigger accidents:

  • Defective equipment
  • Poor outside conditions
  • Poor driver training
  • Driving exhausted and/or intoxicated
  • Negligent braking or loading practices
  • Human error

By braking and turning deliberately and avoiding any rash, high-speed moves, truckers can go a long way toward mitigating the risk of jackknife accidents. Nevertheless, all else could still fail, and accidents could still happen. In some cases, truckers may even attempt to deliberately jackknife their vehicle to prevent a more destructive, devastating rollover crash from happening.

Accidents like these can wreak worlds of havoc that can involve multiple vehicles in a violent, chaotic pileup. It can be difficult to make sense of this chaos, especially when your emotions and adrenaline are high, so if you find yourself entangled in an accident, what then?

What To Do Following A Truck Jackknife Accident

The first thing you should do in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident is to contact the proper authorities and seek the appropriate medical attention as soon as possible. The second thing you should do in the aftermath of a truck accident, however, is seeking legal action as soon as you’re able. Texas law denotes that you have up to two years after an accident to file a lawsuit, but don’t wait.

Contact an Austin Truck Accident Attorney

By working with experienced Austin truck accident lawyers like those at Terry & Kelly, PLLC, you can effectively determine the parties at fault, hold those parties accountable, and obtain the compensation settlement you deserve. Even if no drivers were at fault, you may still have a case to file a claim against the municipal government or trucking company for safety negligence. Contact us to discuss your situation and litigation options more in-depth today.

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