Truck Jackknife Accidents

One of the scariest things a person can witness is seeing a large semi truck or their trailer coming toward them at full speed with little time to stop to avoid a collision. If you were injured in a truck jackknife accident, a truck accident attorney in Albuquerque from Caruso Law Offices, P.C. is here to help. We encourage truck accident victims to begin their legal claim with a free, no-obligation case review. Call us today at (505) 393-3992 to get started.

What Is a Truck Jackknife Accident?

This type of truck accident gets its name because of a similar movement of a pocketknife or “jackknife.” When you fold in a jackknife, it makes the shape of a letter V. A jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s cab continues in one direction while the trailer swings to the side at an acute angle, usually due to an abrupt stop or braking pattern. The trailer may hit other vehicles on the road during this movement.

How Common Are Truck Jackknife Accidents

Truck jackknife accidents are a huge problem. 107,000 injury crashes and 4,842 fatal crashes were jackknife accidents in 2020, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Jackknife accidents are a particularly dangerous type of truck accident, as they represent 38.4% of truck accident fatalities.

Common Causes of Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents usually happen because of a sudden, sharp change in a truck’s momentum. For example, the driver may slam on their brakes when they notice traffic is stopped ahead, which can cause the trailer to swing out to the side while the cab comes to a stop. Some of the most common causes of jackknife accidents include:

  • Driver error
  • Speeding
  • Sudden braking
  • Drowsy driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Slippery roads
  • Brake malfunctions or failures
  • Inadequate truck maintenance

Who Is Responsible for a Truck Jackknife Accident

Jackknife accidents are usually attributable to the truck driver. A truck driver who is safely operating their vehicle will not slam on their brakes or lose control of their trailer. However, multiple parties may share in responsibility for this type of accident, including the following:

  • Truck driver – The truck driver may have been tired, distracted, or driving carelessly to cause this type of accident.
  • Trucking company – The trucking company is responsible for the negligence of its drivers. It can also contribute to jackknife truck accidents by failing to maintain its fleet of vehicles, hiring unqualified drivers, or failing to properly monitor drivers.
  • Cargo loaders – Trucking companies may hire third parties to load cargo at stops. If these parties do not properly load or secure the cargo and the load shifts during transit, they may be responsible for the resulting crash.
  • Truck maintenance provider – Semi trucks involve thousands of moving components. If the truck is not properly maintained and an accident occurs because the brakes fail or tires blow out, the company responsible for maintaining the truck may be legally accountable for your injuries.

Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers After a Jackknife Accident

If you were injured in a jackknife accident, the experienced truck accident lawyers at Caruso Law Offices, P.C. want to help. Call us at (505) 393-3992 or contact us online to get started.