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What can cause a truck to jackknife?

| Mar 2, 2021 | Truck Accidents

It seems like there are traffic reports of a tractor-trailer jackknifed on Indianapolis area roads at least weekly. Jack-knifed semis are not just an inconvenience for drivers, they can also be dangerous.

A semi is designed so that the wheels under the cab are the only ones that can be steered. So, the trailer’s wheels will continue moving in the same direction unless they are gradually steered another way.

If the cab abruptly stops or turns sharply to one end if can send the trailer to go in the other direction, resulting in a jackknifed semi. So, what are some common causes of a jackknifed semi?

Improper brake maintenance

If a truck’s brakes aren’t properly maintained and adjusted the trailer axels can lock before the tractor axels during braking. This can result in the semi dragging a trailer with locked brakes and the trailer can swing out to the side.

Traveling at high speeds

The faster a truck is going the more likely a driver will slam on his brakes if they need to stop quickly. This can lead to a braking imbalance and a jackknifed semi.

Driver inexperience and fatigue

When a truck driver is tired their reaction time can be lowered and their judgement impaired. Truck driving companies also often hire drivers with limited experience which can result in the driver failing to act properly when confronted with a dangerous driving situation.

Inclement weather

When the roads are slippery or wet it can cause a truck’s weight to shift or can lead to a truck not being able to stop.

A legal professional who is skilled at truck accidents can help their client if they have been injured in a truck accident. An attorney can visit the accident scene and interview witnesses, review the police report, and help get the answers they client deserves as to what happened. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.

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