What is a jackknife accident, and what should I do? A jackknife accident occurs when a truck with an attached trailer encounters an obstruction which results in a sudden declination of speed. Especially with semi-trucks, which can sometimes carry multiple trailers behind, there is a great deal of weight which is being pulled. When a truck slams on the brakes, the momentum of the trailers behind continue forward. When the wheels lock up on the cab, they can no longer proceed in a linear direction, so jerk to either side of the vehicle, forming a 45 degree or greater angle, appearing similar to a "jack knife", which is a slang term for a knife that folds out.
For motorists behind semi trucks that suddenly jackknife, and those driving these vehicles, there are several things which can be done, but there isn't always a guarantee of safety. Those in motor vehicles behind, to the side, or in front of the semi truck should keep their distance from the vehicle. Don't follow too closely behind. When a truck jack knifes it will cover multiple lanes of traffic, causing other drivers to swerve, and likely create a pileup. While not all jack knife accidents result in substantive damages, some can, unfortunately, involve multiple injuries or fatalities.
If you're in front of a truck that jackknifes, maintain forward momentum and perhaps move to the side of the road. If you are the driver of a vehicle that jack knifes, you want to refrain from slamming the brakes, as restricted momentum is often the prime cause of the incident. Of course, this sometimes isn't possible in a jack knife accident. Slamming on the brakes could be the best solution and the ensuing jack knife accident which occurs could be a better solution against a greater loss of life or increased damages.
Many attributes define a jackknife accident and require closer examination. Whether you're the driver of a truck, or you get involved in a pile up after the fact, you want legal representation to help you navigate such difficult situations. Especially in Kansas, where there are over 3,000 large truck accidents annually, the propensity for jackknife accidents can be high.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a group of attorneys who center their practice around vehicular and personal injury accidents. Centered in Wichita, Brad Pistotnik Law serves all of Kansas, including El Dorado, Augusta, Manhattan, Junction City, and Abiline. Licensed lawyers associated with this group also practice in Illinois, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, additionally doing Pro Hac Vice work in Texas, Missouri, and other states. This firm's primary concentrations include:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Fleet Vehicle Accidents
- Tractor-Trailer Accidents
- Construction Site Accidents
- Heavy Equipment Accidents
- Pedestrian Vehicular Accidents
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Accidents
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