Why Do Jackknife Accidents Occur and How are They Avoided?

jackknife accidents

Jackknife accidents are among the scariest and most lethal.

Jackknife accidents are among the most hazardous, most frightening and most damaging accidents a truck driver can get into. Most jackknife accidents occur when a truck’s drive wheels lock as the truck approaches a slick spot. The trailer continues to roll forward, causing the driver to lose control and the trailer to swing out to one side. During an emergency situation, a truck driver has three braking options.

  • The driver can lock the steering axle brakes, causing the rig to move straight ahead regardless of wheel angle.
  • The driver can lock the drive axles. Locking the drive axles commonly results in jackknife accidents.
  • The driver can lock the trailer axles, causing the driver to lose directional control.

Obviously, none of these options are particularly safe, and all of them have the potential for significant damage to other cars and to their drivers. The best way to avoid potential destruction caused by jackknifing accidents is to avoid jackknifing accidents altogether.

Strategies to Avoid Jackknifing Accidents

As with most situations in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to jackknife accidents. Drivers are well advised to heed the following precautions and not find themselves on the wrong side of casualties and lawsuits. As general rules of thumb, drivers should:

  • Always keep a safe distance from other vehicles on the road (especially in wet or slippery conditions)
  • Not decelerate at turns or bends. The driver should brake in a straight line prior to the turn. Speed can be increased after the turn is complete
  • Spread braking over the longest distance possible
  • Not break or swerve during evasive actions. If possible, the truck driver should brake first, release the brakes, swerve, and then reapply the brakes
  • Release the brakes when skidding and steer into the skid before the skid causes the truck to jackknife

Evans Transportation Wants You to be Careful Out There!

Evan Transportation was founded in 1992 by Jerry Wolfarth, who at the time had over 25 years of experience in the trucking and transportation industry. The initial operation consisted of a few trucks and drivers who were dedicated and professional. The goal of the company was to provide excellent, dependable service.

If you need materials and products moved in the Mid-Atlantic region, contact Evan Transportation. We hire professional drivers with excellent driving records, and maintain a fleet of trailers and vehicles that are reliable and ready to roll.

Contact us today for all of your freight shipment needs or call us at 443-673-3365

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