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Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers > Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer > Atlanta Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer

Atlanta Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer

A jackknifed tractor-trailer is one of the most dangerous objects imaginable on the highway – a totally out-of-control 80,000-pound machine over 60 feet long and barreling across multiple lanes of traffic, taking out everything in its path. A jackknifed truck happens when the cab or tractor’s wheels lock up but the trailer keeps moving forward. The trailer will swing out to one side and continue until it is perpendicular to the cab or even at an acute angle, resembling a V-shape or that of a partially opened folding knife, also known as a pocket knife or jackknife. Obviously, an out-of-control trailer swinging sideways across all lanes of a highway can create an immense swath of destruction. Jackknife truck accidents are particularly dangerous and deadly to the occupants of other cars on the road.

As you’ll see below, traffic and weather conditions play prominent roles in whether jackknife crashes will happen or not, but ultimately the responsibility for truck jackknifes lies with the truck driver. Drivers who are attentive, adjust their driving to shifting traffic patterns and road conditions, and choose the right method to stop their 18-wheelers safely, can avoid the disastrous results of a jackknife, while negligent, drowsy or distracted drivers are more likely to cause one.

When otherwise avoidable jackknife truck accidents cause needless death and destruction, the tractor-trailer accident attorneys at Shiver Hamilton Campbell hold truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for the harm their actions or negligence have caused. Injury victims, their families, and experienced personal injury lawyers count on our firm to provide strong and effective representation and deliver results. Learn more about jackknife truck accidents below, and call on Shiver Hamilton Campbell if you or a loved one has been hurt in a metro Atlanta jackknife truck accident.

Jackknife Truck Accidents Cause Ten Percent of Truck Accident Fatalities

A report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that jackknife truck accidents are responsible for ten percent of fatal large truck crashes. The report found that when the following factors are present, the likelihood of a jackknife crash increases:

  • Speed of 55 miles per hour or more
  • Poor weather
  • Curved roads

The report noted that the odds of a jackknife truck accident increase as tractor-trailer length increases, while the odds of a rollover accident increase as a truck’s weight increases. Another factor commonly believed to contribute to a jackknife crash is driving with an unbalanced load that shifts in transit. Distracted or fatigued/drowsy driving would likely play a role as well, as it is the need to come to a quick or sudden stop that leads to a jackknife truck accident. Drivers who are attentive and provide themselves with sufficient stopping distance should be able to avoid a jackknife crash, even when conditions favorable to a jackknife are present.

How Truck Drivers React Influences Whether a Jackknife Crash Will Occur

When faced with the need to quickly bring an 18-wheeler to a halt, drivers of the big rigs have more choices other than just hitting the brake pedal. Knowing the right way to stop a truck can mean the difference between safely stopping, losing control, or causing the tractor-trailer to jackknife. For example, the driver could choose to do any of the following to quickly stop their semi:

  • Lock the drive axles – Taking this action to stop the rig is most likely to end in a jackknife crash.
  • Lock the trailer axles – This move will stop the truck but with the loss of the driver’s ability to steer the vehicle.
  • Lock the steering axle brakes – This action will slow and stop the truck while moving in a straight line according to the angle of the wheels at the time.

Jackknife truck accidents are avoidable. Truck drivers should be trained to know what to do and react appropriately when faced with the need to brake suddenly under adverse conditions. They should be driving safely and attentively, at a safe speed, and allowing themselves enough stopping distance to avoid the need for dangerous emergency braking in the first place. If they can’t do these things due to lack of training, carelessness or recklessness, then they have no business behind the wheel of a big rig in the first place. At Shiver Hamilton Campbell, we make it our business to hold truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for the harm they cause due to their negligence.

Get Help After a Jackknife Truck Accident in Atlanta

If you have been hurt in a metro Atlanta jackknife truck accident, or if you lost a beloved family because of the negligence of an 18-wheeler truck driver or trucking company, call Shiver Hamilton Campbell at 404-593-0020 for a free consultation. We take on cases involving the most serious catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, and we fight to secure significant compensation for our clients who were hurt because of another’s negligence or wrongful conduct.

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