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100 Most Influential Lawyers in America
– the National Law Journal

What causes semi-trucks to jackknife?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Tractor-Trailer Accidents

When Californians are traveling on the freeway, they are often sharing the road with many semi-trucks. Although these trucks are necessary to transport goods, they can also be annoying and even dangerous. Truck crashes among the most dangerous crashes on our roadways. Almost every driver has encountered a jackknifed semi sprawled across several lanes of the highway and may wonder what can cause this dangerous situation.

There are several reasons why a tractor-trailer may jackknife. These include:

  • Improper brake maintenance. When a truck’s brakes are not properly maintained they can cause the axles the lock up, particularly when braking hard. The truck will then be dragging a trailer with locked brakes which causes the trailer to go in a different direction than the cab.
  • Traveling too fast. Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. If they are speeding and have to stop suddenly, the trailer will stop at a different speed than the truck due to sudden braking. This can cause them to go in two different directions.
  • Driver inexperience. An inexperienced or fatigued driver may not be able to properly handle the truck, especially when encountering dangerous or unexpected situations.
  • Weather conditions. Wet or icy roads can lead to a truck to jackknife.

If a person has been in a truck accident due to no fault of their own, they may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in personal injury. An attorney can help their client understand what happened to cause the accident and who is at fault. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.