When you have to drive around large trucks regularly, you may not be sure how safe you really are. You may fear that the driver will lose control or that their trailer will swing into your lane, especially when there are heavy rains or winds.
There is a potential for jackknife accidents to occur when the conditions are right, and those accidents could be devastating to many victims on the roadway. They occur more often in slippery or slick conditions, like when it rains and there are heavy winds, but they could occur at almost any time.
Unfortunately, these crashes are relatively common when the roads are slick, whether wet or icy.
Did you know that jackknife crashes tend to happen slowly?
While it might seem odd to say, jackknife crashes don’t usually happen quickly. Instead, there is a period of time during which you can see the trailer becoming more unstable. If the trailer is already swinging from one side to the other and the driver has to put on the brake, then it would be possible for the trailer to swing out of the lane and into other lanes of traffic.
Other drivers may have time to see this starting to happen. If you notice that a trailer seems unstable, you should back away from the vehicle and slow down or get ahead of it, so there is a lesser chance that you’ll get caught up in the crash if a jackknife does occur.
Can drivers stop jackknife accidents from happening?
Drivers are trained to handle jackknifing. They typically add speed or let off the brake to get the trailer to straighten back out. However, in a severe case, it may be difficult to correct the trailer because it already has momentum.
What do you do if you’re hit by a jackknifing trailer?
If a semi jackknifes and crashes into your vehicle, call 911 right away. These kinds of crashes tend to cause serious or life-threatening injuries to those in smaller vehicles (and sometimes in the main cabin of the semi as well). After you get medical care, you can look into seeking compensation.