Every day we share the road with huge tractor-trailers that can weight up to 80,000 pounds. Compared to cars and small trucks, these commercial vehicles can cause devastating damage to smaller vehicles in truck accidents.
Many truck accidents involve a jackknifed tractor-trailer, where the tractor loses control of the trailer and it swings out, forming a “V” or “L” shape.
The danger when this occurs is that the trailer will skid wide, crossing multiple road lanes and threatening all the vehicles in its way.
Common Causes for a Jackknifed Tractor Trailer
When a tractor-trailer loses traction on the road, often a jackknife situation will occur. Losing traction can be caused by:
- Traveling at high speeds. It takes a lot of power and room to stop a heavy truck traveling at highway speeds. If the driver slams on the brakes because another vehicle has pulled in front of the truck, or because of driver inattention, the brakes can lock up and the driver can lose control of the truck.
- Curves in the road. Moving into a curve at high speed with a long trailer increases the risk that the end of the trailer will swing out. The driver will lose control of the truck and the trailer can jackknife.
- Slippery roads. A truck’s weight will shift if the tractor loses traction on a slippery road, causing the truck to slide and jackknife.
- Inadequate maintenance or equipment failure. Trucks like any vehicle must be properly maintained for safety and efficient operation. A driver may lose control of the truck if any system such as hydraulics or brakes fails. Even if the truck doesn’t jackknife in this situation, it can be very dangerous for both the driver and those in adjacent vehicles.
Truck Accidents May Result in Devastating Injuries
No matter what the cause of the accident – jackknifing or another situation – when smaller vehicles are involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, the victims may be killed or suffer severe and life-changing injuries. Typical injuries in a serious crash include fractures, concussion and traumatic brain injuries, burns, back and spine damage and internal injuries.
These accidents can be complex and it may be complicated to determine liability. The truck driver may have been driving under the influence of alcohol or may have violated traffic laws. A defective part may have failed, or the trucking company may be at fault.
To get the compensation that you and your family deserve, consult with an experienced truck accident attorney for the best results.
How We Can Help
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident or any other type of vehicle accident or personal injury, please call the Sevenish Law Firm immediately. Our Indianapolis truck accident attorneys will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Randall Sevenish, personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, will fight to secure justice for you and your family.