Why Are Big Rig Jackknife Accidents Dangerous?
Written by Greg on September 4, 2019
Large commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, making them the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Some big-rigs carry hazardous materials, making them even more susceptible to perilous consequences if they are involved in an accident. Commercial vehicle accidents can be terrifying and traumatic. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, every two minutes, a person is injured in a Texas motor vehicle accident. A person is killed about every two and a half hours. 249,241 people were hurt in traffic vehicle accidents in Texas in 2018.
Jackknife Truck Accidents
Jackknifing occurs when the back of the truck folds around into the cab of the vehicle, forming an acute angle, or jackknife position. 18-wheelers are prone to jackknifing due to their size and weight. When a truck is involved in jackknifing, the cab and trailer end up facing different directions. These types of accidents are extremely dangerous because the truck driver has little or no control over the vehicle and collisions with additional vehicles is likely to occur. The truck may end up in an oncoming lane of traffic, or it might come to rest sideways in the middle of the lanes. If you are near a truck when it is involved in jackknifing, you will be lucky to get out of the way of this huge and dangerous projectile.
What Causes a Big Rig to Jackknife?
Jackknifing can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the factors that cause or contribute to jackknifing include failure of the brakes, improper or late braking, unsecured cargo, cargo that is improperly secured, unsafe lane changes, and slick roads, among others. Generally, truck accidents may be due to human error, equipment failure, road or weather conditions, or a combination of factors.
Inexperienced truck drivers might be more prone to jackknifing accidents than drivers with more experience. Driver reactions can contribute to jackknife accidents. For example, if the driver changes lanes too quickly, the load may shift and the driver might lose control of the vehicle. A more experienced driver understands the dynamics involved and will avoid making moves that could be dangerous.
Choosing the right attorney for a tractor-trailer crash is an important step in protecting your rights. Do your homework before you sign contracts with a lawyer to avoid the unpleasantness of picking the wrong person.
Compensation After a Truck Jackknife Accident
If you were injured in a truck jackknife accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. If the driver was negligent and caused the accident, his or her insurance company will contact you to discuss payment for your medical bills. It is best to get help from a qualified Houston truck accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Your lawyer will work on your behalf to collect important information and documentation to prove your claim.
The trucking company holds valuable information that your lawyer will want to obtain after the crash. The driver’s log will show whether the driver was possibly fatigued at the time of the accident. The mechanical log will provide useful information and the maintenance record will also prove helpful. Do not accept an offer from the truck insurance company until you speak to an experienced big rig accident attorney.