Why would a truck jackknife?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When a semi-truck folds at the hinge between the cab and the trailer, it’s known as jackknifing. That hinge connects the trailer to the cab in a similar fashion to the hinge connecting a knife blade to the handle. As the truck pivots, it looks like a closing jackknife, which is what gives this dangerous issue its name.

When a truck jackknifes, other drivers around that vehicle are in a lot of danger. They could be severely injured in a car accident. So why might a truck jackknife in the first place?

The driver hits the brakes too hard

Sometimes, the driver just makes a mistake. Maybe they didn’t break soon enough, so they have to push the pedal to the floor as they try to stop in time. These types of sudden maneuvers could cause the truck and trailer to jackknife. Letting off of the brakes may save it, but the driver can’t do that if there’s not adequate space ahead of them.

There’s a load shift

In other cases, the load in the truck can shift while the vehicle is still in motion. A pallet that wasn’t secured could tip over, for example, striking the outside edge of the trailer. A load shift could cause the truck to jackknife or tip over.

Road conditions

Finally, the road conditions themselves could cause a truck to jackknife. This is more common if the road is slick, such as when it’s been raining or when there is a thin sheet of ice or snow on the pavement. This may be uncommon in Florida, but it does happen, and drivers may not be prepared.

Have you been injured?

If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a truck driver, you may have suffered considerable injuries that were very expensive to treat. You may be able to seek compensation for these costs and many more.