How do truck jackknife accidents happen? For tractor-trailer drivers, a jackknife is the stuff of nightmares. While, in most Virginia truck accidents, the truck driver comes out unharmed or with light injuries, in a jackknife crash he or she is likely to be very seriously injured.
Jackknife accidents occur when the tractor begins to skid on a wet, icy, or oily surface, and the trailer’s forward momentum causes it to swerve around the tractor. The trailer and the tractor end up at a right angle as they come to a stop.
On some poorly maintained 18-wheelers, the brake system is not balanced evenly across all the wheels. If the tractor’s brakes work well while the trailer’s brakes are deficient, the tractor will start skidding when braking in an emergency, while a heavily loaded trailer will keep on pushing it forward.
Experienced truck drivers know how to avoid jackknife accidents, and motor carriers should make sure they have a proper maintenance program to reduce the chances of a jackknife crash. Many truck drivers and motor carriers fail in this respect, and jackknives continue to happen in Virginia.
Jackknife wrecks are accidents on a large scale
Most jackknife crashes end in misery. The swerving path of the tractor-trailer covers often all the lanes of a highway, causing the truck to strike many vehicles to the left, right, and rear.
Often times, the trailer is damaged, flips over, and spills cargo on the road. Oncoming traffic cannot avoid rushing into the accident scene; approaching vehicles have neither escape lanes nor time to stop. Jackknives are often the trigger of car pileups with countless victims.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Virginia car, truck, or motorcycle accident, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper attorneys today for a free discussion of your accident case. You will have a clear view how our lawyers can help protect your rights.