3 Things That Can Cause A Commercial Truck to Jackknife

Trucks through a windshield wiper with rain

We share the road with commercial trucks every day. Our national economy relies on commercial trucking and truck drivers. But there’s no getting away from the fact that big rigs can be dangerous. A crash between a passenger car and an 80,0000-ton truck can mean catastrophic injuries or even death.

Nor are trucking crashes limited to affecting only one passenger car. There are times when a truck accident can involve multiple cars. As when a tractor-trailer jackknifes.

Jackknifing and Tractor-Trailers

When an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer skids, and the trailer swings out onto the side of the cab, forming an “L” or “V” shape, the cab moves forward but the trailer swings wide, causing the truck to “jackknife.” When a commercial truck jackknifes, it can end up blocking two or more lanes of traffic and damaging any number of passenger cars.

But what causes a big rig to jackknife?

There could be several causes or a combination of causes, but here are 3 of the most common:

  1. Bad Weather

When the roads are slippery or made more hazardous by bad weather, the chances of a commercial vehicle jackknifing increase. Bad weather interferes with visibility. It also interferes with tire traction. Stopping an 18-wheeler is difficult to do at the best of times. But when bad weather, like rain, ice, sleet, or snow make the roads slick, the chances of the truck sliding when the brakes are applied increase significantly.

This, of course, makes it more likely that the truck will skid and be unable to come to a complete stop. In turn, this increases the likelihood of a truck jackknifing.

  1. Mechanical Problems

Another cause of jackknifing is mechanical problems with the truck. A number of different kinds of mechanical issues with the truck can cause it to jackknife. These issues can range from brake problems to a malfunctioning transmission, to faulty engine parts.

  1. Driver Error.

A common cause of jackknifing is truck driver error. Long hours without sufficient rest contribute to truck driver fatigue which can cause driving errors. In some instances, truck drivers may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Although federal regulations require that truck drivers take specific rest times and that they not drive under the influence, many times company policies force drivers to violate the rules. When that happens, driver errors are likely and the results can be disastrous.

Trucking Accidents Are Devastating

At the Day Law Group, we help injured Louisiana residents get the compensation they deserve.  We offer FREE consultations, and we don’t get paid unless you win your case. We have offices in Baton Rouge, and we serve Baker, Denham, Gonzales, Port Allen, Prairieville, New Orleans, and Zachary. Call (225) 465-1232 ToDay to schedule your free consultation or contact us here.

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