The jackknife truck wreck

Highways are jammed in every major city across the United States because of a truck accident involving a jackknifed big rig. Houston, TX, is no exception. The tractor-trailer will frequently roll over and spill diesel fuel on the highway.

What is a Jackknife?

Jackknife Truck CrashesA Jackknife happens with a tractor-trailer combination when the tractor travels at a different speed than the trailer, and the trailer swings around. This happens quickly and usually involves sudden braking or steering, or both.

There is a point of no return when a trailer travels at speed greater than the tractor. It is this scenario that allows the jackknife accident to occur.

Another common situation is a jackknife accident where the trailer to the semi-truck slides sideways down the highway, often impacting vehicles that come in the other direction. This usually results in devastating damages and catastrophic injuries when the tractor crosses into oncoming traffic.

Jackknife accidents also can be extremely dangerous for the truck driver because the driver can no longer control the truck after it reaches the point of no return.

Houston Has Many Kackknife Crashes

Houston has numerous jackknife accidents in any given month throughout the year. Most of these occur on major highways resulting in significant delays to commuting traffic.

When diesel fuel is spilled on the highway, special crews must be dispatched to clean up the spill before the roadway can be opened to the public. This is a very intense and expensive undertaking that must be done in each instance when fuel is spilled on the roadway.

Diesel fuel and gasoline spills are extremely slick when an unsuspecting motorist hits the patch of spilled fuel. If you add rain or moisture to the mix, it becomes even slicker and results in accidents like when a motorist hits a patch of ice unexpectedly.

The Cause of  a Big Rig Jackknife

One of the biggest factors that cause a semi-truck jackknife incident is the application of the brakes on the tractor, which causes the tractor to slow down while the trailer does not. Add some steering input, and conditions are ripe for a jackknife.

It is no coincidence that a jackknife truck wreck is most likely to occur when a trailer is unloaded or lightly loaded. The reason is that the weight of the trailer allows the trailer to brake more effectively. Studies have shown that big unloaded rigs are much more likely to jackknife than fully loaded tractor-trailers.

Proper Brake Application Needed

Proper braking by the professional truck driver is essential to avoiding a jackknife crash. Sometimes, there is just no alternative to hard braking by a professional truck driver. Safety is accomplished by allowing an assured clear distance between other vehicles on the highway when possible.

Driver experience can also play a big part in preventing a jackknife from becoming a reality. The more experience the driver, the less likely the driver is to improperly apply the brakes, and Jack types their truck.

Once a commercial truck driver reaches the point of “no return” in a jackknife accident, they are essentially along for the ride no matter what they do with the braking or the steering of the semi-truck.

Many truck drivers have been seriously injured and even killed because improper braking led to a jackknife.

Early Investigation Necessary

Truck crashes with injury should be investigated promptly. Important evidence should be preserved and obtained.

Things like skid marks and scene evidence should be documented, and other evidence, such as black box data, may be needed.  While many personal injury lawyers handle truck crash cases, getting the best truck accident lawyer in Texas can help your case.

Jackknife Crashes Can Involve Maintenace Issues

The condition of the brakes in any jackknife or rear-end truck accident may be a factor in the cause of the crash. Trucking companies must ensure the tractor and trailer are in a safe condition.  Get a lawyer with truck accident experience to investigate your case.

Contact The Houston Truck Accident Lawyers for Help

If you have been injured in an accident in Houston, TX, and need help, contact our undefeated Houston truck accident lawyers (Top-Rated) by calling (281) 893-0760.



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