One of the most common and dangerous types of commercial truck accidents is a jackknife accident. In a jackknife accident, the trailer swings to one side, forming a 90-degree angle with the cabin. Because of the enormous size of trucks, accidents of this type take up several lanes of traffic, putting everyone within the truck’s vicinity in extreme danger. Anyone driving beside the truck risks being hit by the trailer as it swings outward without warning. Unfortunately, jackknife accidents often result in severe injuries and fatalities.
If you were injured in a jackknife truck accident or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one, contact Kaufman Law, P.C. today. We stand ready to help you get the money you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, as well as get you compensated for your pain and suffering. Trusted in Atlanta since 1977, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for truck accident victims. Respected by our peers and feared by insurance companies, we know what it takes to obtain maximum results for our clients thanks to decades of experience and an unyielding drive for justice.
How Do Trucks Jackknife?
There are a number of factors that can lead to a jackknife truck accident. All of them involve a degree of human error.
- Drowsy driving. FMCSA regulations require truck drivers to take regular rest breaks and place limits on driving shifts in order to combat fatigued driving accidents. Unfortunately, some drivers put profits before the safety of others and ignore these rules. The result is decreased reaction time, which can lead to the kind of abrupt braking that can cause a truck to jackknife.
- Improperly-loaded trailers. When cargo is unevenly loaded into a trailer, or when too much cargo is loaded and the trailer’s weight limit is exceeded, this can affect the truck’s center of gravity. The imbalance can cause the trailer to jackknife.
- Distracted driving. Many jackknife accidents are caused by driver distraction, including eating, texting, making phone calls, or consulting GPS or maps while driving.
- Unsafe driving for current weather conditions. Truck drivers have a duty to drive with increased diligence in poor weather conditions. Failing to slow down and increase following distance, for example, when it is icy, snowy, windy, or rainy, can dramatically increase the chance of losing control of the truck.
- Speeding. The leading cause of jackknife truck accidents is sudden changes in speed. Because they are so heavy, trucks need more stopping distance than smaller passenger vehicles. When a truck is driving too fast and/or driving aggressively, sudden stops can become incredibly dangerous. An abrupt change in speed can easily result in a loss of control.
While truck drivers are required to undergo special training in order to receive a commercial driver’s license and must abide by a number of strict regulations, the sad reality is that sometimes human error results in preventable catastrophe. At Kaufman Law, P.C., our Atlanta truck accident attorneys believe that negligent truck drivers and truck companies should be held responsible when their carelessness harms others. You don’t have to go through this time alone.