Jackknife accidents, when a trailer or towed vehicle folds towards the towing vehicle either before or after a collision, are among the most dangerous types of accidents. When a vehicle, particularly a semi, jackknifes, there are almost always multiple others vehicles involved in the accident due to the fact the trailer usually slides into other lanes of traffic.
The physics of jackknifing are fairly well understood, but most drivers aren’t studying the physics of their vehicles. Instead, they rely on their experience on the road. This usually works out, but there are a variety of conditions that can make jackknifing more likely, and that drivers should pay particular attention to, including:
- Sharp declines in the road, which can allow the trailer or towed vehicle to accelerate more quickly while pushing the gas pedal or decelerate less quickly during braking
- An empty or lightly loaded trailer, which is more likely to jackknife due to cross winds or icy roads
- Slippery road surfaces, due to rain or ice
Jackknife accidents are almost always preventable if the driver is exercising reasonable caution. They are almost always caused by the driver being in too big of a hurry to keep a proper distance from the vehicles in front of them, or the driver failing to account for road conditions.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a jackknife accident, you are well aware of just how dangerous this type of accident is. Serious injuries and death are common. Please contact an experienced attorney to help you pursue your case against the negligent driver who caused the serious injury.