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Sugar Land Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Truck Accident > Top Five Reasons 18-Wheelers Jackknife

Top Five Reasons 18-Wheelers Jackknife


Disastrous jackknife truck accidents, which are usually related to one of the five causes mentioned below, are one of the leading causes of fatal large truck crashes. Today’s large trucks are hard enough to control on a regular basis. When the cab is more than a 45-degree angle from the trailer, the rig is impossible to control. Hundreds of thousands of innocent victims are caught in the wake of these jackknifed trucks.

These claims are legally complex. Most over-the-road truck drivers are licensed in several states. So, obtaining evidence is difficult. Furthermore, the shipping or transportation company that owned the rig is usually financially responsible for damages. This owner is usually an out-of-state holding company. Therefore, only the most experienced Sugar Land jackknife accident lawyer should handle such claims.

Curved Roads

Designers often build curves into highways to reduce vehicle speed and keep drivers alert. Drowsiness and excessive speeds are common on long, straight roads. However, sometimes designers go overboard and make roads too curvy.

A semi-truck on a road that has a sharp curve is dangerous to be near. While the truck makes the turn, the trailer behind it has to be kept in sync or it can swing in the opposite direction, and fold inward.

Usually, a defective road design is a contributing cause to a crash. The driver’s excessive speed, or perhaps another performance issue, like improper braking, substantially caused the wreck. In Texas, the substantial cause is the only one that counts, at least in most cases.

Poor Weather

Generally, weather doesn’t affect a driver’s delivery schedule. So, during heavy rain or snow, trucking companies essentially force truck drivers to cover long distances despite decreased visibility and slippery roads. These situations are dangerous for the truck driver and everyone else on the road.

Once again, driver negligence, not the weather, substantially causes most weather-related jackknife truck accidents. That’s especially true if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was a commercial operator. These individuals usually have a higher duty of care. So, it’s easier for a Missouri City personal injury lawyer to prove negligence, or a lack of care.

Excessive Speed

Even under ideal weather, road, and other driving conditions, excessive speed could cause a large truck to jackknife.

A jackknife can be triggered when a trucker is traveling too fast and has to make a sudden maneuver. While commercial trucks may be quite large and heavy, which gives them the illusion of stability and solidarity, they’re surprisingly unstable vehicles. A variety of outside forces can cause a truck’s shifting of weight to go the wrong way and possibly lead to a semi-truck jackknife, especially when a driver is going at a high rate of speed.

Speed also increases the force in a collision. A property-damage-only wreck becomes a serious injury or fatal wreck.

Poorly-Secured Cargo

Cargo shifts in the trailer can cause a jackknife. To reduce the risk, cargo must be properly loaded and secured. Much like with an empty trailer, the sway at the back of a trailer can magnify depending on the maneuvering and weight distribution of its contents.

Improper Braking

When a commercial truck driver fails to follow the correct braking procedures or has to brake suddenly because of the failure to have a safe following distance, jackknifing can occur.

The driver locks up the drive axles, which causes the truck’s trailer to continue forward and fold into the eponymous jackknife shape that causes horrific damage to cars sharing the road.

Rely on a Detail-Oriented Fort Bend County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.



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