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What factors cause trucks to jackknife and cause accidents?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Jackknifing endangers the safety of everyone on the road. It happens when a truck’s trailer swings outward, forming a sharp angle with the cab. This situation leads to a loss of control that threatens injury to the driver and other commuters.

It is worth exploring what variables cause trucks to jackknife.

Slippery road conditions

Slick surfaces due to rain, snow and ice significantly increase the risk of trucks jackknifing. Reduced traction between tires and the road sometimes causes skidding. Drivers must exercise caution and adjust their driving behavior in response to changing weather.

Excessive speed

Trucks that operate at high speeds are more prone to jackknifing. The momentum generated at extreme velocities makes it challenging for the driver to steer, especially during emergency maneuvers. Slowing down and adopting a responsible driving approach can prevent devastating wrecks.

Improperly loaded cargo

The distribution and weight of a truck’s load deeply impact its stability. Unsecured freight may shift during transit, causing an imbalance that increases the odds of jackknifing. Proper loading practices and diligently securing cargo help avoid a hazardous situation.

Driver inexperience or sleepiness

Inexperienced drivers or those suffering from a lack of rest may wrestle with the complexities of operating a large vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, fatigue accounts for almost 40% of all wrecks involving semi-trucks. Proper training and adhering to breaks are integral to ensuring that truckers drive safely.

Everyone should understand the factors that contribute to jackknifing. A dash of knowledge and being proactive can mitigate the danger, thus saving lives.

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