Jackknife accidents: How truckers can avoid them

A truck jackknifing is perhaps one of the most feared type of accidents tractor-trailer operator face. They most commonly occur when a truck hits a slick spot. It can cause the trucker's load he or she is carrying to swing in an opposite direction from the truck's cab. At its worse, this violent action can cause a truck to flip. In instances like this, there are few options truckers have for avoiding a potentially hazardous end result.

Jackknife accidents most often occur when a trucker brakes in one of three different ways. Once such instance occurs when the trucker deploys the truck's steering axle brakes. When they do, it guides the tractor-trailer in a straight direction as opposed to in the angle that the wheel is turned. In another instance, the operator locks the truck's drive axles causing the jackknife in the process.

In the third case, the trailer's axles become locked. This makes it where the trucker is unable to navigate the truck from side to side.

In order to prevent a jackknife from occurring, truckers have to be proactive in doing so. One technique a trucker can employ in attempting to avoid a jackknife accident involves he or she maintaining a safe distance between the truck and other vehicles in its path. This is particularly important when roadways are either slippery or wet.

Truckers should also avoid accelerating their tractor-trailers as they navigate ramps, bends or turns in the road. It's important that they give themselves ample time to brake and only accelerate once they've cleared them. If they feel the need to stop short, it's critical that they avoid braking and swerving in an attempt to take evasive action as well.

From the moment a trucker sees an obstruction, he or she should attempt to brake immediately. They then should release the pedal, gently steer the truck in the opposite direction of the obstruction and then apply the brakes again. If a trucker must stop short, it's important that he or she does so by skidding into the direction the truck was moving as opposed to the other one.

Truckers could greatly reduce their risk of jackknife accidents if they were to follow these simple procedures. However, distractions, a trucker not having proper training or not adjusting to the elements occurs. If you've been injured in a similar incident, then a Visa, California, truck accident attorney can advise you of your rights.

Source: Evant Transportation, "Why do jackknife accidents occur and how are they avoided?," accessed July 05, 2017

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