Truck turned on its side with the cab on an angle

How Do Jackknife Accidents Happen?

What is “Jackknifing?”

Since many large semi-trucks run through Kentucky roads, you’ve probably witnessed a truck accident or two. While there are many types of truck crashes, jackknifing, in particular, is one that applies to trucks that have a cab and a trailer. Jackknifing happens when the cab and trailer fold into each other at an acute angle. Here are some of the most common reasons why jackknife truck accidents occur, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Causes of Jackknife Accidents

Some of the most notable causes of jackknife truck accidents are the following:

  • Speeding above 55 mph or higher increases the chances of a truck jackknifing.
  • Poor weather conditions, in general, can be a hazard for any driver on the road, but in particular, it can put truck drivers at a higher risk of being involved in a jackknife crash.
  • Curvy roads can be a severe risk to truck drivers involved in a jackknife accident, especially if they are forced to take a sharp turn.
  • The longer the length of a large truck, the more risk of a jackknife accident.

Other contributors to jackknife accidents may include driver fatigue, inexperienced drivers, improper or lack of truck maintenance, the force of a collision. Distracted driving behaviors such as texting or talking on the phone while driving, eating while driving, etc. can also play a role in jackknife accidents.

Truck Crash Avoidance Technologies

Several advances in technology have been developed for large trucks in an effort to reduce jackknife crashes, rollovers, and other types of truck accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), electronic stability control (ESC) is now required on all new truck tractors and buses as of August 1, 2019. ESC is designed to sense when a truck’s motion becomes unstable and intervenes before a rollover, jackknife, or other loss of control can happen. IIHS estimates that ESC can prevent or reduce the severity by 31,000 crashes involving large trucks each year.

Injured in a Truck Accident? We Can Help

Due to the large size and weight of trucks, colliding with one often causes catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fractures — and the risk of the crash turning fatal is high. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash, we are here to help you recover compensation and hold the accountable parties responsible for their careless actions. Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC is here to guide you and lend you support every step of the way through the most challenging times.

Learn how we may assist you by calling (502) 242-8872 today.