It is not uncommon to see a jackknifed truck on Texas roads. Jackknifing can be dangerous for the trucker and other motorists on the freeway. Jackknifing is not inevitable. When truckers follow a few safety procedures, they may avoid jackknifing, even in dangerous situations.
Truckers should look at their mirrors to make sure that their trailer is not swinging, especially if they are braking hard. If they notice that their vehicle is beginning to jackknife, experts recommend that they should let go of the brake, which allows the wheels to start rolling again and regain traction.
When a trailer jackknifes, the wheels of the trailer lose traction. By increasing speed, the trailer is forced to fall in line with the rest of the vehicle. However, if it’s the tractor that is jackknifing and it’s caused by sudden acceleration, drivers may want to let up off the gas pedal, allowing the tractor to regain traction.
Often, when a truck jackknifes, the trailer is empty. When a trailer is heavy, it has more weight, forcing the tires down on the road and creating increased friction and better traction. Additionally, it’s easier to over-brake in a vehicle that has an empty trailer because the brakes on a tractor-trailer are made to stop a fully loaded truck.
Proper braking techniques can help. As opposed to braking during turns, drivers should decelerate slowly on the stretch before the bend or curve. Slamming on the brakes should be avoided as this can cause the brakes to lock, causing a jackknife situation.
When there is a truck crash involving a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle, the results can be devastating. Victims of truck accidents may want to speak to a personal injury attorney about investigating the circumstances around the accident. The attorney may be able to defend their client in court or interact with insurance companies on their client’s behalf.