Sometimes, a tractor-trailer driver loses control of his vehicle. As a result, the cab and trailer may slide toward one another like a folding pocketknife. This is called “jackknifing.” When it occurs, any people or vehicles in the truck’s path are in danger of being crushed.
Jackknifing accidents caused 163 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries during one recent year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports.
In many cases, the cause of the jackknifing truck accident is driver error such as driving too fast, making a sudden, dangerous turn or failing to properly secure cargo.
If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident, lawyer Frank M. Eidson, P.A., can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Our experienced Orlando truck accident attorney can investigate your crash and strive to hold the negligent trucker and trucking company accountable for your losses. We serve clients in Orlando, Winter Park and throughout Florida. Contact us today to learn more.
What Causes Jackknifing Accidents?
Factors that can lead to a jackknifing accident include:
- Roadway gradient (slope)
- Wet / slippery roads
- Length of vehicle
- Height of vehicle
- Cargo shifts.
For example, a jackknifing accident may occur when a trucker enters a sharp curve too fast, particularly on a hill or ramp to a freeway. A trucker on a long, steep downhill grade who brakes too suddenly could lock up his wheels and send his trailer spinning.
One FCMSA study found that worn tires and faulty brakes are major contributors to jackknifing accidents. Antilock brake systems (ABS) keep wheels from locking during hard braking. They have been required on commercial trucks since 1997. However, in order to prevent jackknifing, these systems must be maintained.
As the length of a truck increases, the odds of a jackknife accident increases. Additional connection points on trucks with multiple trailers can also cause instability and raise the risk of a jackknife accident.
A jackknife accident may be caused by a trucker’s negligence or because of the trucking company’s failure to perform routine maintenance. For instance, the company should replace tires with worn tread.
A jackknifing accident due to a cargo shift may have been caused by negligent workers who loaded the truck or the poor training and supervision they received from negligent supervisors.
Contact an Orlando Truck Accident Attorney
Orlando truck accident attorney, Frank M. Eidson, personally investigates each trucking accident his law firm handles, including visiting the scene of the crash, inspecting the vehicles, interviewing witnesses and seeking records from the trucking company. He also consults with highly qualified experts who can help to determine why a jackknifing accident occurred. His goal is to establish a solid case and pursue maximum compensation for his clients. Contact our firm our firm today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.
Sources / More Information
- Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2012, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Large Trucks in Crashes by Jackknife Occurrence and Crash Severity, 2012, FMCSA
- Large Trucks, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- Tractor Semi-Trailer Stability Objective Performance Test Research: Roll Stability, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- An Analysis of Fatal Large Truck Crashes, NHTSA