Jackknife Accidents

Georgia Jackknife 18 Wheeler Truck Accident Attorneys

Imagine an 80,000-pound tractor trailer losing control and jackknifing immediately in front of your car. This is an incredibly dangerous situation that places the lives and safety of the motoring public at risk, not to mention to the truck driver’s life and well-being. A jackknifed truck can cause passenger cars to underride, that is driving under the trailer or force a passenger car driver to take evasive action which can lead to slamming into other portions of the commercial truck or hitting another car. If you were injured, or a loved one was killed or severely hurt, by a jackknifed tractor-trailer in Georgia, you may have a claim for damages against the truck driver, the trucking company, and possibly the truck manufacturer or parts manufacturer. A skilled and knowledgeable Georgia jackknife truck attorney can advise you of your options.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a large truck which has jackknifed is one of the most common causes of serious accidents involving large trucks and passenger cars. The FMCSA reports that jackknifing occurs in approximately 5 percent of all truck crashes and about 9 percent of the time in single vehicle crashes.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), a jackknife occurs when the wheels on the trailer lock up and skids in a different direction than the tractor is pulling. Commercial truck drivers should know that when the rear wheels of a trailer lock up, they will lose control over the trailer and it will slide. Once the trailer begins a slide, it is very difficult, if not impossible to recover. GDOT safety regulations advise truck drivers to watch their mirrors when they hit their brakes hard. It is at that point it is very likely that the trailer will skid. The driver must take immediate action if the trailer swings out of the tractor’s lane. GDOT also advises not to use a handbrake in an attempt to straighten the wheels. This will not work and will only exacerbate the skid. The sole means of regaining control over the rig is to get the wheels rolling again on the trailer.

In addition to stomping on the brakes, a jackknife can be caused by over steering and over-accelerating. Perhaps the most important question to ask is why was the driver over-steering, over-accelerating, or over-braking? Those driving faults are all reactions to other stimuli. The more probative to question to ask is what was the driver doing immediately before he or she took the evasive actions which lead to the jackknife. Therefore it is important to know whether:

  • The truck driver suffered from fatigue;
  • The truck driver was under the influence or had consumed any drugs, alcohol, or both;
  • The truck driver was using his or her cell phone, whether talking or texting;
  • The truck driver was paying attention to the road of was daydreaming;
  • The truck driver had sufficient experience with the rig which he or she was driving;
  • The truck driver had performed all of the necessary pre-trip inspections, post-trip inspections, and performed necessary maintenance; and
  • The truck driver was operating at a speed appropriate for the traffic conditions.

Any one, or a combination of those factors can cause the truck driver to lose control and jackknife.

Put Our Law Firm’s Over 33 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

The time you have to legally receive compensation is limited.