Jackknifing: As Dangerous As It Sounds

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The brakes on a commercial truck are not always something that can always be counted on when a potential accident situation begins to develop. The end result is a jackknifing accident that can cause injuries and death, depending on the circumstances.

What is Jackknifing?

While many people have heard the term jackknifing, they may not be familiar with what type of Texas trucking accident occurs in this situation. Here, the trailers that are attached to the truck swerve and then stop at a 90-degree angle from the truck when the brakes are applied in sudden fashion.

During the time those trailers are swerving, other cars (along with the people inside) or property may be in their path. That could result in terrible consequences for those victims. Even worse is when a truck is speeding and jackknifes; undoubtedly, the truck will roll over on either side, which could put in the path of speeding cars with little or no time to stop.

Different Braking Systems

Big trucks have a much different braking system than the standard vehicles that the average person drives. For instance, three different braking options exist, though two of them are the most important. With steering axle brakes, hitting the brakes suddenly won’t prevent trucks from continuing to move ahead and with a loss in much of the steering capacity. Locking a drive axle brake means that only the front wheels lock—not the back ones, which results in jackknifing.

Other possible situations where this problem may develop are when a truck enters a curve too quickly, or when the surface it’s riding on is low in engine retardants or friction. In addition, if the braking system isn’t in top condition or the brakes are improperly applied, stopping will be next to impossible.

A Problem All Across the Country

There’s no safe zone when it comes to these type of dangers, since they occur all over the United States:

  • Last May in Lamb County, Texas, the deadly combination of wet roads and high winds resulted in a jackknifing that sent the truck directly toward the driver of the vehicle that was hit, killing the driver and one of his passengers, while injuring two others.
  • In New Mexico just days before Christmas 2014, 15 people were involved in a chain reaction, with one person killed and four injured. The multi-vehicle accident began when a tractor-trailer rear ended a car. After the first accident, a vehicle then hit the back of the truck. With the truck still moving, it began to jackknife, which caused it to hit another car, which then led to subsequent accidents.
  • On January 18, a tractor-trailer driving on icy roads lost control and jackknifed, which resulted in other cars crashing into the truck and sliding underneath. Two people were killed in the crash and another suffered serious head trauma.

Individuals Who Care About Your Needs

Accidents of this nature give ample reason why contacting trucking accident personal injury lawyers may be in your best interest. Without their assistance, the possibility of not being fairly compensated increases.

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