Two people were killed and one person was critically injured after a van ran a stop sign, causing a truck driver to slam into the van’s side and jackknife. Crashes similar to this often show up in the news, and the event has a specific name — a jackknifing.
What is jackknifing?
When a truck’s trailer swings around to the front, causing the tractor and trailer to come to rest at an angle, a jackknifing occurs. Extreme damage and injury or even death may result from the trailer swinging around and sometimes rolling over.
What causes a truck to jackknife?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted the first-ever national Large Truck Crash Causation Study, revealing that jackknifing was an associated factor in 7,000 of 141,000 truck crashes resulting in injuries or death. Some of the causes of truck jackknifing are:
- Sudden braking can cause the trailer to travel faster than the tractor, making each skid in a different direction.
- Driving too fast on a curve can cause rollovers.
- Releasing the clutch too fast when downshifting can cause the truck to lose traction.
- Sharply turning the steering wheel can cause the trailer to skid away from the tractor.
- Slippery, icy and wet surfaces can cause the truck to lose traction.
- Bad brakes can cause the trailer to skid.
Who is liable after a jackknife accident?
If you were injured in an accident involving a truck that jackknifed, the simple event of the truck jackknifing is not a viable reason for you to sue. For example, Florida laws cannot place blame on anyone for an accident that results from unforeseeable weather conditions or an animal darting into the middle of the road. However, if the jackknifing was caused by driver, manufacturer or truck company negligence, you may be able to sue for compensation for your financial and emotional losses.
A distinguished truck accident lawyer in Bradenton, Florida can explain how you can bring those liable for your injuries to justice.