Jackknifing is an event that occurs when a truck and its trailer form an L or a V shape on the highway. In some cases, such an accident can lead to fatalities, but it may be possible to reduce the number of jackknife crashes. Typically, they occur due to a loss of traction due to wet or icy roadways or because the driver has not properly applied the brakes.
Preventing a jackknife may come down to driver safety and awareness. If a driver notices that the trailer is swinging, it may be possible to release the brake and give the trailer wheels time to make a better connection with the road. It may also be possible to accelerate, which may cause the trailer to swing back into a proper alignment. Truck drivers who need to brake or slow down should do during straight stretches of road prior to bends or curves.
It may also be a good idea to make sure that the trailer has a proper load. Generally, a full trailer will stay closer to the road and have an easier time gaining traction. It is more common than not to read reports about jackknife accidents involving trailers that were light or empty.
A person who is hurt in a truck accident may wish to take legal action against the driver who caused the crash seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. The employer of the driver may also be liable for damages under certain circumstances, and a personal injury attorney can help an injured victim understand a third party’s role in the legal process.