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What causes a truck to jackknife?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Personal Injury

There are over 2 million car accidents every year in the U.S. These incidents vary in their severity, but over 40,000 crashes per year are fatal. A significant number of fatal crashes involve trucks. Trucks are much larger and heavier than other vehicles, and if they hit a smaller vehicle, the person in the smaller vehicle is likely to suffer worse injuries.

One type of truck accident that tends to result in catastrophic consequences involves jackknifing. What is jackknifing and how does it occur?

Losing control of the trailer

The majority of trucks are utilized to move cargo from one place to another. Truck operators load up and drop off only to fill up again and repeat the cycle. Obviously, a fully loaded trailer weighs a lot more than an empty vessel, and a crash with a fully loaded truck can be devastating. However, this doesn’t mean that trucks with empty trailers aren’t still dangerous. In fact, an empty trailer can even be more dangerous. Jackknifing occurs when a trailer – whether full or empty – moves to break away from the cab and pulls it in a different direction.

What causes jackknifing

There are numerous factors that can cause jackknifing. Sometimes, jackknifing occurs because a driver has made an error such as over/under braking. A driver may also have a poorly balanced trailer which swerves when the vehicle gets up to speed. However, a truck driver is not always to blame for jackknifing crashes. Sometimes, faulty equipment can result in a loss of control of the vehicle. Additionally, high gusts of wind can cause the trailer to move in the wrong direction.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, then it’s important to try and establish fault. If the truck driver or company were to blame, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Seeking legal guidance will help you to better understand your options.