Large commercial trucks can cause severe damage and injuries when they crash. One particularly dangerous type of crash is called a “jackknife” accident. A jackknife occurs when the large trailer of the truck swings out into adjacent lanes, becoming perpendicular to the truck and folding like a knife does. If any vehicles or pedestrians are in the path of the trailer, they can be crushed, causing catastrophic damage and injuries. In addition, a jackknifed trailer often causes the driver to lose complete control of the truck, which can result in a rollover or chain-reaction crash.
Because of the serious results of a jackknife, it is important to know who can be held liable for your injuries. In order to identify the responsible party, you should be aware of the common causes of jackknife accidents, some of which are explained below.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that driver errors cause the majority of commercial truck accidents – and jackknife accidents are no different. There are many driver errors that can result in a jackknife, including the following:
- Distracted driving
- Slamming on brakes
- Excessive speeding, especially on curvy roads
- Drowsy driving or fatigued driving
- Impaired driving
- Cargo-Loading Mistakes
Improper loading of cargo in the trailer is also a common cause of jackknife crashes. First, if the trailer is overloaded, the coupling device can fail and cause a jackknife, especially on hills or while the driver is braking. In addition, cargo that is not properly secured inside a trailer can shift while the truck is in motion. Such shifting can cause the trailer to become imbalanced and result in a jackknife.
Malfunctions such as tire blowouts, coupling failures, or brake failures can result in a jackknife accident. In such situations, the company that manufactured and sold the defective truck part may be liable for any injuries caused in the crash.
Call a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer at Abels & Annes for Help
If you have been injured in any kind of truck crash, please call our truck accident attorneys in Chicago as soon as possible. We have represented many injured clients, so contact Abels & Annes for a free consultation at 312-924-7575 today.