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What causes a truck to jackknife?

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2021 | Uncategorized

Almost everyone in the Somerset area has come up to an accident involving a jackknifed semi. It’s a familiar sight, a semi-truck with its cab going one direction while the trailer going the other, often blocking several lanes of road. Although these accidents can be annoying, they can also be dangerous. Many truck accidents result in serious injuries and even death.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 4,100 people died in large truck accidents in 2019. Thousands more were injured in truck accidents. A jackknife semi-truck can cause accidents but some my wonder how those even occur.

There are many ways in which a semi can jackknife. These include:

  • Brake issues. If a truck carrier fails to properly maintain a truck’s brakes it can cause the truck’s axle to lock up and make the truck more difficult to control. Trucks need proper maintenance to keep their vehicles safe.
  • Inclement weather. Snow, ice and rain can make Kentucky roads slippery and large trucks are prone to skidding in these slippery conditions. It can be even more dangerous if the truck is on an incline or turning.
  • Speeding. A truck, when fully loaded, weighs up to 80,000 pounds. If a driver has to brake suddenly it can be too much for the truck to handle and the trailer may stop at a different rate of speed than the cab causing a truck to jackknife.
  • Cargo. What’s in a trailer and how it is packed is extremely important in keeping the truck safe. Improper weight distribution can lead to a serious accident.

If a person has been involved in a truck accident in Kentucky, they may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in personal injury. An attorney can review the police reports and 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.