Big rigs are extremely susseptable to what is called a “jackknife” where the tractor and attached trailer travel together but in separate directions at the same time. The main cause of this type of truck accident is the brake application on the part of the professional truck driver that causes the trailer to travel at a different speed than the tractor. When steering input is added to the equation, a jackknife is likely to occur.
There was a point where the truck driver can actually control and prevent the complete loss of control after the initial emergency occurs. However, very quickly, in fractions of a second, a truck driver can reach the point of “no return” and in that instance, the driver is simply along for the ride.
Truck drivers generally survive big rig accidents and frequently are uninjured. However, the jackknife accident can and has injured and killed many many truck drivers over the years. Almost all of these types of truck crashes end up off the roadway and with a rolled over vehicle. Unfortunately, the other motorists do not fare so well in a jackknife crash, if the truck or trailer contacts their vehicle.
In some instances the trailer will slide across the traveled portions of the highway to block the roadway to oncoming traffic that does not expect the situation. Oncoming traffic has little or no opportunity to avoid the crash and most of these types of accidents are fatal.
Truck driver training can play a large role in whether or not a tractor – trailer Jackknifes and the condition of the trailer brakes can also play a part. Whether you are truck driver or an innocent victim caught in the trap of the jackknife accident, you should speak with a trucking accident law firm before speaking to any insurance interest regarding the case.