What Causes Jackknife Crashes?

Cartwright - January 18, 2021 - Truck Accidents
What Causes Jackknife Crashes?
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Many types of collisions can happen involving large commercial trucks, and one particularly dangerous type of accident is a jackknife crash. When this happens, it can often cause damage and injuries. Contact a San Francisco truck accident lawyer after an injury. 

Now, more than ever, during the COVID-19 pandemic, freight trucks, and 18-wheelers play a vital role in moving cargo and commerce around the country, moving almost 3/4ths of the nation’s freight and generating around $800 billion in revenue each year. It plays a crucial hand in keeping our economic gears turning, but sometimes, accidents can happen and cause harm to others on the road.

One type of truck crash that is particularly dangerous is called a jackknife. If you are injured in this type of accident, you need the help of an experienced San Francisco truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Read on to learn more.

Understanding Truck Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents happen when the coupling device of the truck fails, and the trailer is able to swing out to the side, folding in on the truck like a pocket knife. The heavy trailer has the potential to collide with any cars that are in the adjacent lane.

Stable weather conditions, stable road conditions, and a stable sleep schedule can go a long way toward preventing jackknife accidents. Even if they are roughing some harsh elements, technological innovations like electromagnetic anti-lock brakes and hydraulic braking regulators make it easier than ever for truckers to weather even the riskiest conditions. 

But poor training, poor conditions, poor braking, improper loading procedures, and distracted or drunk driving can all impact safety. Often, truck driver error is the cause of a jackknife, but it can also happen due to negligent trucking companies, cargo loaders, maintenance crews, and more. No matter what caused a jackknife, it is rarely the fault of other motorists on the road, and these motorists might suffer serious injuries. 

What to Do After a Jackknife

If you’re injured in such an accident, you’ll want to take the following steps in both the immediate and not so immediate aftermath:

  • If you’re conscious, dial 911 or ensure someone else does so. This will ensure that the right authorities report to the scene.
  • If your vehicle is in functioning condition, try to pull it over out of traffic flow if possible.
  • Record photographic and video evidence of the accident scene if you’re able.
  • Try to get the names, contact info, and insurance credentials of every driver involved, as well as any witnesses who’ve stayed at the scene.
  • Seek necessary medical attention as soon as possible and follow all treatment plans.
  • Contact a lawyer with experience in handling complex truck crash cases. 

Contact Our San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyers 

For over six decades, The Cartwright Law Firm, Inc. has helped clients in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area find closure, compensation, and justice through the personal injury claim process. If you would like to speak to a member of our team about how one of our San Francisco truck accident lawyers can help, please contact us today or call 415-433-0444 to schedule a free initial case evaluation.


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