There are many factors associated with trucking accidents in Washington DC, Maryland, and throughout Northern Virginia. These factors lead to thousands of trucking accidents each year and hundreds of fatalities. One of the deadliest of all trucking accidents on the road, however, is the jackknife trucking accident. When a jackknife trucking accident occurs, it is often catastrophic and causes injury and death to numerous individuals and families.
What is a Jackknife Trucking Accident?
When a truck driver brakes suddenly, the front wheels can lock. When this occurs, the trailer moves more rapidly than the cab, causing it to swing around. The term “jackknife” refers to the “folding” of the tractor trailer, just like that of a pocket knife.
A large commercial truck’s braking system is considerably different from that of smaller passenger cars. When a truck driver must suddenly apply his or her brakes, there are three basic choices. The steering axle brakes can be locked, which allows the driver to continue to guide the truck. If the drive axles are locked, it is almost a given that a jackknife will occur, and if trailer brakes are locked, directional control is lost, resulting in trailer swing.
A very experienced truck driver knows that extremely even brake pressure must be applied—and must be stopped just short of locking the brakes. While ABS brakes solve such issues in passenger vehicles, most big commercial trucks are not equipped with ABS.
Causes of Jackknife Trucking Accidents
There are numerous causes of jackknife trucking accidents, including:
- Truck driver error
- Inclement weather
- Reckless driving
- Equipment failure
- Excessive speed
- Hazardous road conditions
- Truck driver distraction
- Fatigued driving
Jackknife Trucking Accidents Result in Numerous Victims
When a jackknife occurs, the truck’s cargo can spill across the roadways. In addition, because trucks in the process of jackknifing can skid across multiple lanes, multi-car collisions are likely. As such, there may be numerous victims all attempting to make a claim against the trucking company or truck driver. When this occurs, you need an experienced trucking accident attorney on your side. An experienced trucking attorney can establish the cause of the jackknife accident, zeroing in on the liable party, and protecting your rights in the process. Your attorney can also ensure that you receive the compensation you need—even when multiple parties are all making similar claims or accepting settlements.
Contact Knowledgeable Trucking Accident Lawyers
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our trucking accident lawyers realize how serious jackknife truck accidents in the Washington, DC metro area, Virginia, and throughout the State of Maryland can be. We also know how difficult it can be to secure compensation after such a catastrophic accident. As such, we work diligently from the very start to build a case that is designed to maximize compensation. Call us at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6635 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
The trucking accident attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates have successfully represented injured individuals in Washington, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Annapolis, Rockville, Baltimore, Richmond, Fairfax, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and other locations throughout Maryland and Virginia.