An 18 wheeler or semi-tractor trailer consists of the cab and the trailer. Jackknifing occurs when the trailer portion swings out to the side of the cab, resembling a partially opened jackknife. Jackknifing may be caused when the cab stops suddenly, or from icy or slippery road conditions, or for other reasons. In many cases jackknifing occurs when the driver does not pay proper attention to their vehicle or to road conditions. If you were injured by a jackknifed truck that was caused by driver negligence or recklessness, you may seek compensatory damages.

CAUSES OF JACKKNIFE ACCIDENTS

There are numerous causes for jackknife truck accidents. In many instances the driver is at cause. A semi-tractor trailer is capable of carrying loads of 80,000 pounds. In some cases vehicles behind the truck may be struck by enormous amounts of cargo spillage. In other instances the vehicles following the jackknifed truck unavoidably run into the truck, which creates a virtual wall on the highway. Jackknifing may be caused by brake, tire or equipment failure.

JACKKNIFING CAUSED BY DISTRACTED DRIVING

Truck drivers who are involved in distracted driving conduct may cause jackknifing. These include the following:

  • Impaired drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Truck drivers who are texting while driving
  • Speaking on a cellphone while driving
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Reaching in the cab for an item while driving
  • Falling asleep at the wheel – often caused by driving more hours than regulations allow
  • Speeding – driving faster than the speed limit
  • Looking at maps, reading or using a navigation system

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