When a tractor trailer jackknifes, the trailer will fold into the vehicle, forming an acute angle with the tractor. Jackknife accidents are extremely dangerous to the driver and to anyone who happens to be near the out-of-control vehicle. These types of accidents can result in a rollover, an underride collision with another vehicle, or even a runaway trailer situation. It is tragically common for these types of dangerous truck crashes to result in serious injuries and death.
When a tractor begins to skid, the trailer may begin to push the tractor from behind. A jackknife accident occurs if the trailer then swings out and forward while pulling the tractor backward and to the side. This is extremely dangerous for any vehicles that are around the truck as it skids. Once stopped, the jackknifed tractor trailer can still pose a crash risk to other vehicles on the roadway. Vehicles that cannot stop in time may crash into the jackknifed truck, resulting in a devastating collision.
These types of accidents are extremely dangerous because trucks are typically on fast- moving highways where there is little time to avoid a stopped vehicle. If the truck crashes through a center median or veers into oncoming traffic, it is possible for cars moving in both directions to be involved in the crash.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to a jackknife accident, including icy and slippery conditions, excessive speed on curves, faulty brakes, defective equipment, and improperly loaded trailers. It is important to determine how the crash occurred when determining liability. Potentially liable parties include the truck driver, the trucking company, the company responsible for loading the trailer, or the truck parts manufacturer.
The reputed personal injury attorneys at Maples Law Firm help victims of Oklahoma truck accidents get fair compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, please contact our offices at (888) 226-6159 for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your legal rights and options.