Jackknife Trucking Accidents

When 18-wheeler trucks weighing thousands of pounds applies sudden brakes or skids on the road, the consequences are pretty serious. One of them being the truck getting jackknifed. That is, the trail attached to the truck folds over its hinges to make an acute angle with truck’s cab. Surviving such accidents is nothing short of a miracle.

Some Common Causes for Jackknifing Truck Accidents

Truck jackknifing accidents are considered among the most or nearly fatal truck accidents. And the 18 wheelers and semi trucks are the common trucks involved in these. But for a truck to jackknife, only a few situations are responsible. These include:

Traction Problems: Traction here means the ability of the wheel to hold on to the road without sliding. So on slippery roads, tires loose grip over the road and trailer tends to jackknife due to the momentum.

Sudden Braking: In case the driver applies brakes suddenly, the vehicle skids on smooth roads. Though most drivers apply breaks to bring the truck to halt, it actually aggravates the situation and truck get jackknifed.

Another fact to note is that most trucks involved in jackknifing are carrying empty trailers. This is because, when the trailer is loaded, it will be heavy and the weight will improve road traction. And also, it’s not just the 18 wheelers and semi trucks that can jackknife, all other trucks have this capability.


But seeing the seriousness of such accidents, many preventive measures have been taken by engineers and technologists over the years. The anti-lock brakes are of those effective methods to prevent jackknifing. This braking system checks the wheels from getting locked, and hence jackknifing doesn’t occur. Plus the additional sensors make sure that maintains the pressure on the wheel in case of sudden braking. This also works well for trucks with empty trailers.

To sum it up, some common reasons for trucks getting jackknifed are,

  • Slippery roads (due to snowfall/ spillage etc)
  • Curvy roads
  • Improper weighing of Truck and trailers
  • Driver’s error (sleepy/ inattentive/ inexperienced)
  • Vehicle crashes

While most of the times it is the driver’s fault, the company also has certain responsibilities. The company has to make sure that the truck’s brakes and tires are in order. They must also hire experienced drivers and inexperienced drivers don’t know how to handle a skidding truck. And if they fail to do so, they are liable for the injuries and damage you sustain in the crash.

How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help You

If you have been injured in such an accident, you have to prove that you were not at fault. Plus you also have to prove that it was the crash occurred due to the driver’s negligence. In the same way, the company and its insurance team will try to prove that it was your fault. For instance, that you switched into the trucks lane, or you suddenly applied brakes.

In such scenarios, you will need an attorney to prove your case. The Jackman Law Firm can help you by collecting video evidence, interviewing bystanders, eyewitnesses, etc. In fact, we can also go to the length of investigating the company internally. Through which we can find out if they were neglectful in hiring the driver or in vehicle maintenance.

Our firm is well experienced in handling truck accident cases. We are well aware of all the nuances that go into proving the fault of trucking companies in such accidents. So feel free to call us for a free consultation regarding your case.