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What Causes An 18-Wheeler To Jackknife?

'Maggio Law

Mississippi Trucking Accident Lawyers

It’s not a good thing when an 18-wheeler truck jackknifes. This means the truck was out of control and skid when the driver applied the brakes. The truck’s drive wheels lock down, and its trailer continues to move. A 90-degree angle is formed as the truck’s trailer shifts outward.

It’s important to realize a large commercial truck’s braking system is much different from that of a passenger car. A jackknifing 18-wheeler truck is a very dangerous situation for the truck as well as others on the road.

Reasons 18-wheelers jackknife and cause accidents:

This can happen when a driver makes an error, is negligent and more. They also occur as a result of inclement weather as well as equipment failure and hazardous road conditions. It’s possible for the brakes of an 18 wheel truck to be applied suddenly, the driver downshifts too fast or must accelerate suddenly to avoid an accident with a small vehicle. This can all result in a truck jackknifing.

Mechanical Issues

There are a number of mechanical issues that could cause a commercial vehicle to jackknife. This could be everything from faulty engine parts to a malfunctioning transmission, brake issues and more. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations that all commercial trucks must be systematically inspected, repaired as well as properly maintained.

This standard also applies to intermodal equipment controlled the by the truck. There are also rules for how maintenance records must be maintained.

Weather Issues

Weather conditions can cause a truck to jackknife. The FMCSA provides guidelines about driving in bad weather. It states that truck drivers are to exercise extreme caution when driving in serious weather conditions involving smoke, rain, dust, snow, sleet as well as ice. They are advised to reduce speed. If a weather situation becomes significantly dangerous, a driver should stop and not drive until the conditions are safe to continue.

Driver Error

This is the most common reason for a commercial vehicle to jackknife. An operator is expected to drive reasonable for the circumstances. They must be cautious when driving. It’s possible there was not enough stopping distance left between the truck and another vehicle; they may fail to yield the right-of-way and more. It’s important a person be sufficiently trained before being permitted to operate a commercial vehicle.

Legal Repercussions for Trucking Accidents

An accident involving a semi-truck will be much more serious than when only passenger vehicles are involved in an accident. A driver or the company must have a much larger insurance policy. An attorney will know how to establish if a truck driver was liable for an accident. If the driver is considered to be at fault, the insurance payout could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

A commercial truck must be in compliance of hundreds of regulations from the FMCSA, as well as the Department of Transportation (DOT), which do not apply to passenger vehicles. Should it be demonstrated, they were not in compliance, the fines and other possible legal actions could be significant.

Contact MS Trucking Accident Lawyers

An accident involving an 18 wheeler is a frightening experience. This is a situation that requires the knowledge and experience of a legal expert. The attorneys at ‘MAGGIO LAW will know the best way to pursue your case. They know what is required for their clients to get a fair settlement.

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