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Can drivers avoid a jackknifing truck?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Personal Injury, Truck Accidents |

Staying alert is critical to avoiding accidents when driving alongside big rigs or even semi-trucks. The thought of a massive truck spiraling out of control may be unsettling, but it is possible. When a truck jackknifes, its trailer swings out and sweeps across multiple lanes before it folds against the cab like a Swiss Army knife.

A jackknifing truck can create a hazardous situation for road users, but quick action may reduce the chances of becoming caught in the chaos.

Spotting danger before it unfolds

A jackknife accident typically happens when a truck loses traction and control. Various factors can contribute to this frightening scenario, such as improper loading, slippery road conditions and unsafe truck driving behaviors like excessive speeding.

Motorists should always maintain a safe distance from these large trucks. Even though the jackknifing action can occur quickly, the truck driver could have been struggling to control the vehicle beforehand. Avoiding a jackknifing truck can be difficult, especially when driving too close to one.

A swinging trailer could sweep nearby vehicles and cause a major accident. To dodge this situation, watch out for these subtle signs:

  • The truck’s cab and trailer moving in different directions
  • A truck that makes a sudden stop, which may cause its axles to lock
  • Unusual reactions from nearby cars, such as reversing or suddenly breaking
  • A truck that over accelerates while turning, potentially causing the driver to lose control

When sharing the road with big rigs, respecting its blind spots and leaving enough space to react may make all the difference in staying safe. The moment a truck speeds through or when its trailer seems to sway, stay away.

If you or someone you know has been hurt in a jackknife incident or truck-related collision, do not delay getting medical attention. Beyond preserving your health, taking this step will document the extent of your injuries. This information, along with other evidence, will be crucial should you decide to pursue compensation and hold those responsible accountable.

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