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San Antonio Jackknife Truck Accidents

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 107,000 injury crashes and 4,842 fatal truck crashes in 2020 were jackknife accidents. If you were one of the unfortunate parties injured in a truck jackknife accident, a San Antonio truck accident attorney can help explain your legal options for recovery.

What Is a Truck Jackknife Accident?

A truck jackknife accident involves a collision in which the cab and trailer of a truck are at an angle to each other, resembling the action of a pocket jackknife. The truck driver loses control of the vehicle after slamming on the brakes, causing the trailer to swing because it has too much momentum to stop. The trailer may crash into vehicles in nearby lanes, potentially causing serious injuries or fatalities. When you fold in a jackknife, it makes the shape of a letter “V.” A jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s cab continues in one direction while the trailer swings to the side at an acute angle, usually due to an abrupt stop or braking pattern. The trailer may hit other vehicles on the road during this movement.

What Causes Jackknife Accidents?

Nearly all jackknife accidents occur when the truck driver slams on their brakes or makes a sudden serving motion to avoid a collision. Some factors that can contribute to these accidents include:

  • Speeding – Truck drivers who are speeding or driving too fast at turns or bends in the road have less time to come to a complete stop, so they may slam on their brakes to avoid a near-collision. However, this action can endanger nearby motorists on the road.
  • Following too closely – A truck driver who is not maintaining an adequate distance between the truck and the vehicle in front of them may brake suddenly to avoid a rear-end collision only to cause a dangerous jackknife accident instead.
  • Driver fatigue – Drivers may fall asleep behind the wheel or have delayed reactions because of fatigue, causing them to brake too late.
  • Distracted driving – Distracted drivers may not recognize hazards ahead and may brake too late or lose control of their vehicle when trying to avoid a collision.
  • Equipment failure – Brakes that are not properly adjusted or maintained, blown tires, or other mechanical issues can cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, potentially resulting in a jackknife accident.
  • Dangerous roads – Roads that are slippery from rain or oil spills or that are curvy may make it difficult for truck drivers to safely operate on them. Large potholes caused by constant wear and tear due to the heavy oil and gas industry in San Antonio can also make roads difficult to traverse. They can also cause truck drivers to swerve suddenly to avoid property damage.

Determining Fault for a Truck Jackknife Accident

Truck jackknife accidents can be complex legal matters. Many jackknife truck accidents are caused by driver error. However, other factors may be involved that implicate other responsible parties. For example, a trucking company may have demanded a trucker work beyond the hours of service rules, jeopardizing their safety and others on the roadway. Defective brakes may lock up. A third-party mechanic may have failed to properly repair or maintain the truck. An experienced San Antonio injury attorney can investigate to determine who is at fault and work to hold them accountable for the harm they caused.

Injured in a Jackknife Accident? Call for Your Free Consultation

If you were injured in a jackknife accident, the experienced truck accident lawyers at The Aguirre Law Firm want to help. Call us at (210) 934-4756 or contact us online for a free case review.

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