Skip to Main Content

How to Prevent Jackknifing an 18-Wheeler

Louisiana Truck Accident Lawyer | Louisiana 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer | Jackknife 18-Wheeler Crash Lawyer

It takes only seconds for an 18-wheeler to jackknife.

One moment, you’re driving your car down the interstate at a safe rate of speed.

Then – in an instant and without warning – you see the broadside of semi-truck barreling toward you.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to maneuver your vehicle to safety, avoiding a horrific crash.

But for far too many innocent motorists, a jackknifing 18-wheeler leads to serious injury or even death.

What Happens When an 18-Wheeler Jackknifes?

Jackknifing describes a situation where an 18-wheeler or any trailer-towing vehicle skids.

If the driver can’t correct in time, the trailer will push the towing vehicle from behind until it spins the vehicle around and faces backwards.

A jackknifed 18-wheeler will resemble the 90-degree angle of a folding pocket knife.

When a big truck jackknifes, the trailer will usually end up careening across the highway.

Thanks to their enormous size – 20-to-30 times heavier than a typical passenger vehicle – and greater ground clearance, a jackknifing 18-wheeler will likely cause tremendous damage to anything that crosses its path.

For this reason, it’s not unusual for innocent motorists to sustain serious injuries in a jackknife 18-wheeler crash, including:

  • Bone Fractures
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Injuries
  • Back Injuries
  • Concussions
  • Burns
  • Internal Injuries
  • Death

Causes of Jackknife Truck Crashes

Speeding is often a contributing factor to jackknife truck accidents.

If a speeding trucker is forced to slam on the brakes, the trailer’s momentum may keep it moving even after the cab has come to a standstill.

The trailer has no place to go other than pivot sideways when it meets up with the cab.

Other factors that can contribute to a jackknife 18-wheeler crash include:

  • Driver Error
  • Taking a Curve at a Very High Speed
  • Down Shifting
  • Incorrectly Adjusted Brakes
  • Acceleration on a Slippery Surface
  • Improperly Loaded Trailers
  • Partial Load
  • Empty Trailer

A Careful and Competent Trucker Can Often Avoid Jackknifing

While it’s impossible for anyone, including truckers, to predict an accident, it is possible to take steps to prevent a jackknife 18-wheeler crash. As such, a careful and competent truck driver will:

  • Be Wary When Hauling a Light Load
  • Allow Plenty of Time to Brake
  • Avoid Entering a Curve at a High Rate of Speed
  • Avoid Braking and Swerving Simultaneously in an Emergency
  • Use Caution When Applying the Engine Brake or Using the Retarder on a Slick Surface
  • Avoid Skidding
  • Avoid Speeding
  • Ensure that Brakes, Tires, and Suspension Components are Properly Maintained

Were You or a Loved One Injured in a Jackknife 18-Wheeler Crash? Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult with Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers.

In addition to being Undefeated at Trial, Our Experienced 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers have won over $1 billion for our clients, including hundreds of people throughout Texas, Louisiana, and  across the United States who were injured or tragically killed in jackknife 18-wheeler crashes and other trucking-related accidents.

If you would like to discuss your legal options with one of our Undefeated Truck Accident Attorneys, call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

All consultations are free, and because we exclusively represent clients on a contingency-fee basis, you’ll owe nothing unless we win your case.