Truck drivers have a big job, and they have to be cautious about how they handle their rigs at all times. When a truck driver loses control, there is a risk that the trailer could jackknife. If no one is in the way, there is a possibility that the driver could get the vehicle back under control. However, the large trailer is more likely to swing across several lanes and into traffic — and that can lead to serious accidents.
What should truck drivers do to avoid jackknifing?
While it may not always be 100% possible to avoid a problem with a truck, jackknifing is preventable. Drivers should remember the following:
- To avoid jackknifing, truck drivers should always do their best to carry a heavier load. Underweight trailers are more likely to swing out. Those loads must also be properly secured and balanced so that they do not suddenly shift as a driver moves around a bend.
- Another helpful tip is for those drivers to brake gradually when they approach a stop, traffic snarls or a sharp curve. Slowing down over time keeps the trailer in alignment with the main cabin. It also keeps the truck from barreling into any other vehicles from behind.
- Truckers also need to be conscious of the weather and road conditions during their route. High winds, roads slick from rain, bridges covered with ice and snowy roads are all problematic.
- Finally, all truck drivers should take care of their vehicles and get them the maintenance that they need at the appropriate times. A poorly maintained vehicle is much more likely to be involved in a crash.
If you are hit by a truck driver because they jackknife, remember that you may have the opportunity to pursue compensation for your injuries. Drivers should know how to prevent these types of crashes.