Semi-trucks on New Jersey and New York roads are a common sight. Most of the time cars are able to share the road safely with trucks but if they are in an accident, it is often serious. Semi-trucks are some of the largest and heaviest vehicles on the road and if they are in a crash, it is often serious and tragic. Many of us have come upon an accident where it appears a truck has jackknifed. But what can cause these common occurrences?
Dangerous and potentially deadly
Many people know what a semi-truck that has jackknifed looks like. These types of accidents occur when the cab and the trailer go off in different directions. In some cases, the truck can overturn completely. A jackknife accident can happen in an instant and if a person is driving behind a truck when it happens, they can be facing a potentially dangerous situation. There are many reasons why a truck may jackknife. These include:
- Brakes. If a semi-truck has improperly maintained brakes, it can cause the axles to lock up. This would result in the truck dragging the trailer with locked brakes, pushing the trailer onto the side of the cab.
- If a truck driver is speeding and needs to suddenly stop it can be too much for a loaded trailer to handle. The truck may then stop at a different rate of speed than its trailer.
- Cargo. How a trailer is packed can have an effect on whether a truck will jackknife. If there is any shift in cargo it can force the trailer to move around and potentially jackknife.
- Road conditions. If the road is slippery, wet, icy or snowy trucks can lose traction and slide. Debris in the road and potholes can also cause a truck to jackknife.
If a family has been affected by a truck accident, they may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in personal injury. An attorney can visit the accident scene and interview witnesses and review the police report to help determine what happened. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.