basics of jackknife accidents

The Basics of Jackknife Accidents: A Guide for Truck Drivers and Passengers

Jackknife accidents involving commercial trucks are dangerous and can cause severe injuries and property damage. As a truck driver or passenger, it is essential to understand the basics of jackknife accidents to help prevent them and stay safe on the road. A jackknife accident lawyer can be most helpful in guiding you in a lawsuit and getting the compensation you deserve.

What is a Jackknife Accident?

This occurs when a truck’s trailer swings out to the side, forming a 90-degree angle with the cab. This often happens when the driver brakes suddenly, causing the trailer to lose traction with the road. When the trailer loses traction, it can swing out to the side, causing the truck to fold in on itself like a jackknife.


Jackknife accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

1. Braking too hard: Hard braking can cause the trailer to lose traction with the road, leading to a jackknife accident.

2. Poor weather conditions: Slippery roads due to rain, snow, or ice can cause a truck to jackknife if the driver does not adjust their driving accordingly.

3. Speeding: Driving at high speeds can increase the risk of an accident, especially when combined with hard braking.

4. Overloaded or unevenly loaded trailers: Overloaded or improperly loaded trailers can shift weight to one side, causing the truck to jackknife.


Drivers can take several measures to avert jackknife accidents, including:

1. Proper training: Drivers should receive appropriate training on handling their vehicles in different weather conditions and emergencies.

2. Safe driving: Drivers should always follow the speed limit and leave enough space between themselves and other vehicles.

3. Regular maintenance: Trucks should be regularly maintained to ensure that brakes, tires, and other components are in good working order.

4. Proper load distribution: Trailers should be loaded properly to ensure that weight is evenly distributed and that the trailer is not overloaded.

What to Do in the Event of a Jackknife Accident?

If you are a truck driver or passenger involved in a jackknife accident, there are several steps you should take:

1. Call for help: If anyone is injured or the accident is blocking traffic, call 911 immediately.

2. Turn on hazard lights: Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of the accident.

3. Stay in your vehicle: If you are a passenger, stay there until help arrives. If you are the driver, stay in the cab until it is safe to exit.

4. Seek medical attention: If you or anyone else is injured, seek medical attention immediately.

5. Document the accident: Take photos of the accident scene and gather contact information from any witnesses.

6. Contact your employer: If you are a truck driver, contact your employer and report the accident as soon as possible.

7. Hire a legal professional: A jackknife accident lawyer is essential to file a lawsuit and know your rights. You need a professional and highly skilled attorney to get the compensation you need to rebuild your life. Search for a reputed one and have a free consultation before hiring them for a case.


Jackknife accidents can be dangerous and cause severe injuries and property damage. As a driver or passenger, it is essential to understand the basics of such accidents and take measures to prevent them. Proper training, safe driving, regular maintenance, and load distribution can all help avoid jackknife accidents.

If you are involved in a jackknife accident, seek medical attention, document the accident, and contact your employer as soon as possible. With the proper knowledge and preparation, you can help prevent jackknife accidents and stay safe on the road.

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