One of the scariest things a Tampa resident may see on or alongside the road is the site of a truck that has jackknifed. Usually, the vehicle will be twisted in to an awkward shape, and it may even lay on its side. Unfortunately, there is a reason why a jackknifed truck is scary. Often, as they crash, a jackknifed truck will sweep or otherwise collide with other vehicles around it. Especially given the huge size difference between a car and a semi-truck, the end result can easily be a serious commercial vehicle accident that can leave people seriously injured.
Jackknifes are more common in semis because the vehicle actually consists of two separate, but connected, parts. The tractor, or front of the truck, includes the motor and the driver’s cab, while the longer trailer includes the load the trucker is trying to haul.
When these two components start to travel in different directions, a jackknife can occur unless the trucker manages to correct it quickly. Generally speaking, skids cause trucks to jackknife. Therefore, truckers need to be careful to avoid situations in which they will be likely to skid. This means taking great care when roads are wet and slick to pay attention and to drive slowly. It is also important for truckers always to slow down gradually, especially when heading down a hill or around a curve.
Finally, a trucker and his or her company should make sure that the truck’s tires are properly inflated and the truck’s brakes are in proper working order. As one can see, most jackknifes can be prevented with a little care on the part of the truck driver and the trucking company’s mechanics. Therefore, someone who gets hurt in connection with a truck jackknife should consider evaluating his or her legal options for pursuing compensation.