Jackknife Truck Accidents
A jackknife truck accident refers to collisions in which the trailer of a large truck turns and folds in toward the cabin. The motion is similar to the folding of jackknife or a pocket knife, hence the name. These kinds of crashes can lead to catastrophic injuries and even fatalities, which is why it’s crucial to speak with a truck accident attorney following a crash.
The Oklahoma City, OK auto collision lawyers at Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC would like to go over the causes and dangers of jackknife truck accidents. We’ll then discuss potential legal action against the negligent party who caused or contributed to the crash.
Why Do Jackknife Truck Accidents Happen?
There are numerous reasons why a jackknife truck accident may occur, but the mechanism for these accidents is the swinging of the trailer behind the cab. This could be the result of slippery roads, debris on the road, or applying the brakes abruptly. When this happens, it increases the risk of the trailer shifting to the side and the tractor-trailer folding in on itself.
Many modern trucks have devices in place to prevent jackknife crashes from happening, including special brake systems that control brake pressure on the wheels of the trailer.
Dangers to Motorists When There Is a Jackknife Truck Accident
If a large truck jackknifes, it puts all of the motorists near the vehicle at risk. A trailer that skids into adjacent lanes could strike multiple passenger vehicles. These cars and small trucks may collide with other nearby automobiles, resulting in multi-vehicle pileups. As traffic gets tied up behind this jackknife collision, the risk of other accidents occurring amid the vehicle congestion increases.
How Common Are Jackknife Truck Accidents?
Thankfully, jackknife truck accidents are relatively rare. According to numbers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were just 194 fatal jackknife accidents in the United States in 2016. This comprised 4.6 percent of all fatal large truck crashes.
While the frequency of jackknife accidents may be rare, our Oklahoma City attorneys take these kinds of collisions seriously given the catastrophic injuries that may occur in such crashes. In fact, several large trucks jackknifed in western Oklahoma in October of last year, a story that should give everyone a moment’s pause.
Who Is Liable in a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Liability in a jackknife truck accident case can vary. In some instances, the truck driver is to blame. They may have been negligent in operating the vehicle, causing them to lose control and contribute to the collision. In other instances, the trucking company may be to blame, perhaps because of maintenance issues or for overworking their truck drivers.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a jackknife truck collision, our attorneys can go over the details of your case and determine what your next course of action should be. We can help negotiate a settlement or take your case all the way to trial if necessary.
Learn More About Jackknife Truck Accidents
For more information about your legal options following a jackknife truck accident, be sure to contact our skilled team of injury accident attorneys. You can reach Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC in Oklahoma City by calling (405) 673-8021.