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How do jackknifing accidents happen?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2022 | Truck & Bike Accidents

Countless vehicles share the roadways across Ohio every day. These automobiles vary in size, shape and capabilities, but they all have to cooperate in order to stay safe.  

Trucks tend to be the largest vehicle out there and have the potential to engulf anything in their path should an accident occur. One of the more common trucking accidents is jackknifing accidents. What exactly is meant by jackknifing and how do these incidents occur? 

What is jackknifing?

Trucks are rarely traveling without at least a trailer attached to their rear. More often than not, these trailers are loaded with very heavy cargo. If a heavily loaded trailer becomes unstable, it can swing from side to side towards the cab of the truck. This motion has previously been compared to that of a small folding knife, which is where the term jackknifing is thought to have originated from. 

What causes jackknifing?

There are many factors that can contribute to a jackknifing accident. The loads on a cargo truck tend to be heavy, and if it is not secured properly, it can shift across the trailer. At high speeds, this is highly likely to cause the trailer to become unbalanced, making a jackknifing accident more likely. 

Heavy braking

Trucks have significantly longer stopping distances. If a truck leaves it too late to stop, there is a risk that the driver loses control of the vehicle. Heavy braking puts more strain on the trailer which could ultimately cause it to become unbalanced and jackknife. 

Jackknifing is extremely dangerous and it can be the result of driver error, vehicle malfunction or environmental conditions. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, make sure you have a closer look at your legal options