Even if you travel busy Texas highways every day, you probably never fully grow accustomed to sharing the road with tractor-trailers. The sight of these massive machines barreling up behind you in your rear view mirror is enough to make your stress levels soar through the roof! If you happen to be driving during inclement weather conditions, coming neck-and-neck to a tractor-trailer may place you and anyone nearby at great risk for injury. So much can go so wrong so quickly, especially if a truck jackknifes.
Witnessing an enormous, fast-moving big rig crumple and bend into the shape of pocketknife can be absolutely terrifying, especially if you’re in within collision distance. Such vehicles are not going to vanish from the earth; therefore, it’s better if you at least gain an understanding of what types of things can cause a truck to jackknife in the hope that you may be able to avoid an accident.
It’s all in the tires
Traction, friction, force, etc. Do these words make you feel like your back in a high school taking a physical science lesson? These key terms have everything to do with road safety and tractor-trailers. The following list includes explanations of what causes a tractor-trailer to jackknife, as well as what you can do if a problem arises:
- Traction has to do with the way tires grip the road. Anything that causes space between the tire and the asphalt can cause a truck to lose traction and careen out of control.
- Jackknifing occurs when the cab of a tractor-trailer and the trailer portion of the vehicle become out of sync from each other.
- Slick road conditions, abrupt slamming on of brakes, or any other sudden change may adversely affect the way a truck’s tires grip the road.
- If you see a truck bending into an “L” or “V” shape, you are witnessing an emergency!
Empty trailers increase the risk for jackknifing to occur. The more a trailer is carrying in weight, the better tire traction it has on the road. If you’re driving along and notice that a particular truck’s trailer is swaying or weaving back and forth, it may mean it is empty and therefore at risk for a jackknife. If you’re involved in a collision with one of these enormous machines, it’s likely the results will be disastrous. In fact, many people suffer fatal injuries in tractor-trailer incidents.
As an accident survivor, you may have a long road ahead, particularly if you suffered a brain, neck or back injury. You may even need financial help to cover your medical expenses and pay for the ongoing care you need to achieve as full a recovery as possible. One way to obtain such help is to explore your options for filing a personal injury claim in court.
Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.