top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

A Guide on How to Avoid Jackknife Accidents in Texas

While operating any motor vehicle is dangerous, driving a truck is one of the riskiest. This is because these large motor vehicles are prone to a number of mishaps, one of which is the notorious jackknife truck accident.

Remaining safe on the road depends on a truck driver's ability to understand and prevent such accidents. This article will discuss jackknife accidents in greater detail and offer truck drivers a few tips on how to avoid them. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with how to avoid wide turn accidents in Texas.

What Is a Jackknife Accident?

What Is a Jackknife Accident?

Jackknife crashes are some of the most common truck accidents.

A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer of a large motor vehicle moves to the side, creating a 90-degree angle. The movement mimics the folding action of a jackknife, which is why these accidents have been given this name.

They are not unique to Texas, but the state's extensive road system and considerable traffic may add to their prevalence.

Because of their unusual design, tractor-trailers are frequently involved in this type of motor vehicle accident. The trailer's wheels may lose traction, resulting in a loss of control and the possibility of a catastrophic jackknife.

What Are the Most Common Causes of a Jackknife Truck Accident?

There are a number of reasons why a jackknife accident might occur.

  • Driving too fast. This can lead to the loss of control of the vehicle.

  • Vehicle malfunction. When the brakes do not work properly, the consequences can be devastating.

  • Poor load distribution. If cargo has not been distributed correctly, it can lead to a jackknife accident.

  • Making sharp turns. When traveling at high speeds, making sharp turns can cause the truck to turn at a 90-degree angle.

  • Poor road conditions. Rain, wind, snow, and other weather conditions can reduce visibility and make roadways slippery, causing commercial trucks to lose control.

How to Avoid Jackknife Accidents in Texas

Without further ado, here are some of the ways truck drivers can prevent jackknife collisions:

Maintain a Safe Speed and Following Distance

Speeding can increase the likelihood of a jackknife truck accident, so ensuring that a safe speed is maintained can make a world of difference.

Moreover, negotiating curves at a suitable speed is critical to keeping the trailer from spinning out of control. Drivers should make sure that they slow down before approaching a curve to help improve vehicle stability.

Maintaining a safe following distance can also help to lessen the effects of the accident and ensure that other motorists and passengers are not harmed in the event that a jackknife accident does occur. Motorists are also encouraged to follow traffic laws and be responsible on the road to prevent such crashes.

Make Sure that the Vehicle Is Well-maintained

Because defective brakes can be the culprit for jackknife accidents, ensuring that the vehicle is maintained well is critical to preventing these kinds of collisions. If a truck driver notices a potential problem, he or she should notify the trucking company right away so that arrangements can be made for a repair.

Attend Driver Training

Inexperienced drivers can easily lose control of a vehicle, so attending an advanced driver training program can help to prepare him or her for any obstacles or changing weather conditions they may encounter on the road.

Pay Attention to the Cargo

As previously discussed, an uneven load can lead to jackknife accidents, so ensuring that the cargo has been properly distributed and secured in place to keep it from moving around can be critical in maintaining safe conditions.

Avoid Sudden Braking

Sudden braking is the enemy of commercial trucks, so traveling at a safe following distance and at a safe speed can help reduce the need for braking. Drivers should reduce their speed when approaching corners to avoid losing control of the vehicle.

Ensure That the Truck Has Safety Features

Additional safety features, such as electronic stability control (ESC), can help reduce the risk of being involved in a jackknife crash. These modern systems help by applying the brakes automatically in certain situations. While it certainly cannot replace safe and responsible driving, it can certainly help to add another layer of protection.

Avoid Distractions

The truth is that truck drivers are often prone to distractions on the road. Because driving can be monotonous and arduous, they are often prone to fatigue and may lose focus because of distractions. Operating the radio, texting, eating, and more can cause a driver to lose concentration. In such situations, it is best for the motorist to pull over rather than risk an accident while trying to multitask.

Pursuing Compensation for Jackknife Truck Accidents

Pursuing Compensation for Jackknife Truck Accidents

When a truck accident causes serious injuries, the victim may be eligible for compensation from the truck driver, the relevant trucking companies, and/or other third parties. With the help of an experienced semi accident lawyer in Dallas, victims can compile a compelling case and ensure that they have enough proof to support their claim.

A reliable personal injury attorney will conduct an investigation of the accident and will ensure that the correct party or parties are being held liable for the damages caused.

The truth is that a jackknife collision can result in severe injuries that change the quality of one's life, so pursuing compensation is often an important part of the recovery process, as it avails much-needed funds that can be used to receive medical treatment.

Moreover, Texas uses a modified comparative fault system, which means that victims can file a claim against an at-fault party, even if they were partly to blame for the accident, provided their fault does not surpass 51 percent.

An experienced attorney can help victims navigate the complexities of personal injury law and ensure that justice is met. They can also how to avoid rollover accidents in Texas.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Here to Help

Semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large vehicles are often prone to jackknife accidents. However, by following the steps mentioned above, truck drivers can lower the chances of these catastrophic events and keep themselves and others safe.

When the inevitable happens, and someone is seriously injured in a jackknife collision, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are here to help victims pursue the compensation they are rightly due.

Claimants are encouraged to schedule a free consultation with the law firm to discuss the details of their case.


bottom of page