No one wants to get into an accident, especially those who are driving a massive tractor-trailer or big rig. These types of accidents can be deadly not just for the driver but for those around them at the time. 

Jackknife accidents are one of the most common types of accidents of larger semi’s and there are times when they are simply unavoidable. If the driver is trained and knows how to remain calm then they are able to limit the damage. Let’s take a look at what to do if you find yourself behind wheel in such a situation. 

What is a Jackknife Accident

To put it simply, a jackknife accident is when a larger tractor-trailer or big rig skids on the road and the trailer shifts to one side. This is extremely dangerous for all vehicles that are around the vehicle as this situation occurs. 

Truck drivers go through rigorous training to know how to handle these types of situations but nothing can prepare you for the actuality of the situation. It’s in those moments where everything you learned in training is mixed with the adrenaline of the moment and you have no time to think, only act. 

How Bad Are These Accidents

Jackknife accidents can be fatal. There really is no other way to put it. The problem arises because the trailer of the truck is not actually attached to the cab. 

Like any car accident, there can be numerous issues when it comes to your physical safety including but not limited to:

  • neck injuries
  • spinal cord injuries
  • head trauma 
  • pelvic injuries
  • internal bleeding
  • internal organ trauma.

How to Avoid Jackknife Accidents

There are two perspectives when it comes to jackknife accidents. Let’s take a look at the drivers perspective and then the perspective of those around him.

The Truck Driver

There is nothing worse than feeling out of control when you are driving a vehicle of that size. Here are a few things to do when in the driver’s seat of a tractor-trailer: 

1. Make sure you get enough sleep! This is crucial to help you remain alert and ready to handle every situation. 

2. Stop early. Every driver is able to get a feel for the braking of their vehicle. You know how it responds so make sure you are stopping with more than enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you. 

3. Rember to exercise extra caution in inclement weather. Allow yourself enough travel time so you are not in a hurry between stops. 

The Other Car

1. When you see a large truck move out of the way. Let them pass safely. 

2. Do not cut them off! This is very important as going at that high rate of they do not have time to stop.

3. Keep your distance. 

If You’re in a Jackknife Accident

The best thing for either party to do is (after ensuring everyone is okay) contact your attorney. There are many things that need to be looked at and it’s vital for the overall outcome that an attorney is involved. 

For more information on your rights, visit our website to see how we can help.