Large trucks are essential for interstate shipping and everyday commerce, but they can be dangerous. Tractor trailers need to be driver with care, and operated by skilled drivers who are well-rested. When big rig crashes occur in Sugar Land, Katy, or Richmond, TX, you can count on a truck accident attorney from our law firm.
Jackson R. Reed and Travis B. Terry would like to focus on jackknife truck accidents. These kinds of crashes can be especially deadly, and they have a number of causes to consider.
About Jackknife Accidents
A jackknife truck accident refers to instances in which the trailer of a large truck folds in toward the cab of the truck. You’ll note the motion is like that of a folding knife, hence the name “jackknife” to describe the type of collision.
Given the folding in of the trailer toward the cabin, a truck driver has almost no control over the vehicle. This can lead to deadly crashes affecting motorists on the road as well as any pedestrians or bicyclists nearby.
What Causes Jackknife Crashes?
There are a few common causes of a tractor trailer jackknifing:
- Improper braking techniques
- Brake malfunctions
- Driving too fast, requiring sudden application of the brakes
- Sharp turns or curves in the road
- Wet or slick road conditions
- Rainy or icy weather conditions
- Lack of experience by the truck driver
The Dangers of Jackknife Crashes
When large trucks jackknifes, it can lead to serious hazards to vehicles in adjacent lanes. The trailer swinging to the side can collide with motorists nearby, leading to catastrophic injuries.
The sheer force from collision with the tractor trailer isn’t the only danger, however. As nearby vehicles attempt to avoid a jackknifing truck, it can lead to collisions in adjacent lanes. Multi-car pile-ups are not uncommon when a truck jackknifes, which can lead to serious injuries as well as major traffic pileups.
How Common Are Jackknife Accidents?
According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 613 fatalities from jackknife truck accidents from 2014-2016. Each year in that timespan, jackknife truck accidents accounted for between 4.6 percent and 5.5 percent of fatal large truck accidents.
Keep in mind that these statistics do not account for jackknife collisions that result in vehicle-damage or injuries only. That said, these kinds of crashes are typically rare compared to other kinds of large truck collisions, but they need to be taken seriously nonetheless.
Legal Options for Victims of Jackknife Accidents
If you or a loved one is involved in a jackknife crash, you may be able to seek damages depending on the nature of the collision. If the truck driver was drowsy or fatigued at the time of the accident, they may be responsible for the collision occurring. Brake issues or mechanical problems with the vehicle may be the fault of the trucking company or even the truck manufacturer.
By speaking with our lawyers, we can go over the details of your crash and determine if you have a case worth pursuing. We can help negotiate a reasonable settlement or take your case all the way to trial if need be.
Learn More About Truck Accident Litigation
To learn more about your legal options following a jackknife truck accident, be sure to contact our skilled team of truck accident attorneys. You can reach the offices of Reed & Terry, L.L.P. in Sugar Land, Katy, and Richmond by calling (281) 201-0988.