Jackknifing can occur when a tractor-trailer loses control, and the trailer it is towing becomes inverted in an L or V shape. This type of issue can happen both with commercial vehicles and for less experienced drivers who might be using a trailer as part of a move, relocation, or to tow a boat or camper.
When a tractor-trailer becomes jackknifed, it cannot regain control and position the trailer correctly, leaving it vulnerable to getting in a collision, often with another vehicle. It’s also possible for the tractor-trailer to flip over. You may find it helpful to know why these jackknife incidents occur so that you can avoid becoming entangled in one.
WHY JACKKNIFE INCIDENTS OCCUR
A tractor-trailer may jackknife for a variety of reasons. The tires may lose traction, causing the truck to skid. This is why it’s important for truckers to constantly check their side mirrors to ensure that the trailer is in alignment.
Sometimes hard braking or a sharp turn will also result in a trailer getting out of sync. Truckers can minimize their chances of this by avoiding making any sudden maneuvers when they have a trailer attached to their trucks.
There tends to be a higher rate of jackknifing when trailers are empty. This is because the heavier the trailer is, the more the tires grip the road and create a constant level of friction. Brakes on tractor-trailers best respond when they’re carrying heavy loads. When the trailers are empty, overbraking is more of a possibility.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF A JACKKNIFE INCIDENT CAUSED YOUR INJURIES?
As referenced above, jackknife incidents generally happen so suddenly that the motorists around them can’t avoid becoming involved in the crash. One of the first things you should do after such an incident is to summon the police and seek medical help. You may want to continue browsing our site to learn more about your legal options if you or a loved one suffered injuries.