If you have ever seen photos or video of a jackknifing accident occurring, you understand how dramatic and heart-stopping these incidents are to witness. Even a skilled commercial truck driver might lose control of their vehicle and wind up blocking multiple lanes of traffic or causing a crash that affects dozens of other vehicles.
Obviously, only those in control of commercial trucks can physically prevent a jackknife incident from occurring. However, there are certain practices you can adopt to reduce how much risk you have for getting swept up in a jackknife incident as it occurs.
To avoid a jackknife incident, you must understand its causes
Jackknife incidents can occur in a variety of environments and situations. Sometimes, they occur when a truck driver is on slick roads and has an empty trailer or very light load. Other times, they might take place with a heavy load while the truck travels at high speeds.
When the trailer starts moving in a separate direction from the cab of the commercial truck, that is a jackknife incident. Being aware of the road conditions near you can help you watch out for slick spots that might be high risk nearby trucks. You also probably want to be aware of places where the weight or center of gravity and a truck could shift rapidly, such as on-ramps, sharp turns and curves.
How do you avoid getting hurt in a jackknife incident?
Whether you crash into a stopped semi after it jackknives or get struck by a truck as it loses control, you are at risk for severe injuries and major property damage. The simplest way to avoid such losses is to maintain enough space between your vehicle and commercial trucks so that you won’t get hit by them if they lose control and you will have enough room to stop if you follow them in traffic.
Sometimes, traffic conditions won’t allow you to leave that much space, which might mean that you can’t avoid the incident that occurs. For people struggling with medical bills and repairs to their vehicle after a crash with a big truck, either insurance or a personal injury claim may be necessary.