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What you need to know about jackknife incidents to avoid a crash

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Firm News

Indiana’s many roads are very busy during the spring and summer, but we can encounter truckers on the road with us any time of the year, many of us feel comfortable around them because they’ve undergone additional training to operate their vehicle adequately.

Many new truckers take to the road every year with minimal practical driving experience under their belts. This inexperience leaves them vulnerable to having a jackknife incident. Jackknifes can happen to non-commercial motorists pulling cars, boats or campers on trailers as well.

You may find it helpful to learn what a jackknife incident is to do your best to avoid entanglement in such a crash.  A jackknife incident occurs when a trucker loses control of their truck and their trailer inverts. An 18-wheeler may assume either an “L” or “V” shape when this happens. Operators of jackknifed vehicles often struggle to regain control of their trailer, resulting in a collision with another vehicle.

Why do jackknife incidents occur?

Vehicles may jackknife for many reasons. A truck’s tires may lose traction, causing the car to skid. A trailer may also fall out of alignment. This is particularly common when a motorist takes a sharp turn or hard brakes, causing the trailer to fall out of sync.

Jackknife incidents are more common among some vehicles than others. The rate of jackknife incidents seems to be highest among empty trailers. Many safety analysts believe that the heavier than a trailer is, the better its tires will be in gripping the road. Those same analysts suggest that vehicle operators may overbrake when their trailers are empty.

Your options if a jackknife accident left you with injuries

Many jackknife incidents happen suddenly, often leaving motorists nearby vulnerable to becoming involved in the crash. Indiana law may allow you to recover compensation for medical costs and other accident-related expenses resulting from your involvement in a crash. An attorney can tell you the next steps that you’ll want to take when filing an injury claim in your accident case.