Accidents involving semi-trucks are among the deadliest on our roadways. Jackknife truck accidents are no exception—in fact, they’re some of the worst of a bad lot. When a massive tractor-trailer folds in on itself—much like a jackknife snapping shut—while at highway speeds, astronomical damage may ensue.
If a jackknife truck accident has injured you, you are probably facing extensive damages, including exorbitant medical expenses and a crushing emotional fallout. The dedicated truck accident lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, are committed to helping you recover every penny you deserve! Our experienced truck accident legal team cares about your claim, and we’re here to help, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or contact us now by CLICKING HERE!
National Trucking Accident Attorney Stewart J. Guss discusses trucking safety on national news with Mike Papantonio on America’s Lawyer
The Mechanics of a Jackknife Accident
Semis swarm our highways because our nation’s demand for consumer goods is so immense that these transportation behemoths are in near-constant rotation. With an increased presence on our roads, big-rig accidents are also on the rise.
These eighteen-wheelers are made up of a large cab that houses the driver and motors the entire rig and a massive trailer that’s attached via an articulated joint to the cab. This coupling mechanism allows both elements to maneuver together more fluidly when the truck takes to the road. At the same time, however, this articulated joint renders the rig more vulnerable to dangerous accidents like jackknife accidents.
The results of jackknife accidents are terrifying, and this is especially true when a car gets caught up in the accident. Jackknife accidents can be caused or exacerbated by any number of factors, and many of them are attributable to trucker negligence:
- A truck driver who’s distracted by anything other than driving safely
- A truck driver who speeds excessively
- A truck driver who takes steep curves or turns too quickly
- A truck driver who fails to factor in the condition of the road, including the deleterious effects of adverse weather
- A truck driver who hauls improperly loaded cargo (which may be attributable to the truck driver, to the trucking company, and/or to the loading crew)
It must be pointed out that truck drivers are professional drivers, and as such, the government holds them to stricter safety standards. All of these contributive elements are preventable, and truck drivers and trucking companies should be held accountable.
Taking a Closer Look
Here are some truck driver errors that often result in serious jackknife accidents:
- Failing to accommodate for bad weather. Inclement weather often plays havoc with roads. When truck drivers fail to drive in accordance with inferior road conditions caused by bad weather, tragic accidents can ensue. While bad weather affects all drivers, truck drivers—due to the massive size of their rigs—are even more susceptible. Frigid temperatures and precipitation can lead to extremely slippery driving conditions and diminished visibility. Even slightly slippery roadways can lead to jackknife accidents when truckers fail to make critical corrections to accommodate for the loss of traction—including pulling off the road when necessary. Because of their massive size, weight, and bulk, big rigs are extremely vulnerable to the ill effects of inclement weather.
- Speeding. We learned it in driver’s education class, and it remains true today—speed kills—but when it comes to the massive trucks that roam our highways and byway, this is especially true. Truck drivers are professional drivers who are required to maneuver massive machines safely across our great nation. When truckers instead opt to exceed the legal speed limit or to exceed the limit dictated by the condition of the road, they endanger everyone with whom they share the road. As a trucker increases his or her rig’s speed, that rig’s stopping distance increases and so does the risk of jackknifing.
- Failing to accommodate for steep curves. Because of their high center of gravity and enormous size, semis have to take steep curves with plenty of extra caution. The more extreme the curve, the greater the risk that an 18-wheeler will jackknife. Failing to maneuver steep curves cautiously is extremely risky behavior for truck drivers.
Truck Accidents: The Statistics
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety forwards several statistics (based on data from 2015) that speak to the dangers of semi-truck accidents:
- More than 11 percent of all traffic fatalities involved a semi-truck.
- Truck-related traffic fatalities rose by 22 percent (over the numbers from 2009).
- There were about 4,000 traffic deaths in the United States.
- Truck-related traffic fatalities are far more likely to be occupants of the vehicles that aren’t semis.
In other words, semi-truck accidents are deadly—especially for the occupants of the non-commercial vehicles involved. It’s a fact of modern driving that we share the road with massive commercial trucks—give them all the space on the road you can afford. Arriving alive should always be your top priority.
If you’ve experienced a jackknife truck accident, you know exactly how harrowing it can be. The damages associated with these treacherous accidents are often extreme, including not only significant medical expenses but also hours lost on the job. If your injuries are serious, you may suffer an altered career path and a diminished earning potential in the future. Further, the emotional damage wrought by such accidents can be one of the most difficult elements to overcome. Your experienced truck accident law firm will help calculate the totality of your damages and will help ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If You Sustained Injuries in a Jackknife Truck Accident, Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm Today
Truck accidents are violent, immensely destructive accidents. If a negligent trucker left you injured in a jackknife accident, you need experienced legal counsel. The dedicated truck accident legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law has the knowledge, experience, and commitment to aggressively advocate for your claim’s best possible outcome.
Our nationally recognized legal team has fought for truck accident victims’ rights for decades, and we’re here to help you. Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE to schedule an evaluation of your case.