As many in Jasper probably know, jackknifing is one of the most common types of semitruck accidents on Alabama roads and elsewhere in the country. To maintain the safety of truckers and everyone else on the road, it is vital to recognize the common causes of jackknife collisions and be alert for the conditions in which this kind of crash is likely to happen.

A jackknife accident is one in which a semitruck’s cab and trailer sections fold in toward each other at the point of separation by the fifth wheel, forming a V or L shape that resembles a folding pocketknife.

Traction is key

Typically, jackknifing occurs due to loss of traction, which can happen because of poor driving conditions or various other reasons. When a semi’s tires lose their grip on the road, the wheels of the rig can start to skid and slide, making it difficult for the driver to control the truck and trailer. If the driver slams on the brakes, that could just make the situation worse. The brakes might lock, and since the wheels don’t have enough traction to stop skidding, the out-of-control rig can easily swing sideways into the jackknife position.

The following are some circumstances that could make a jackknife crash more likely:

  • Slippery roads due to rain, ice, snow or black ice
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Winding roads with sharp curves
  • Towing too light a trailer load
  • An inexperienced semitruck driver

Clearly, the important thing to remember is that when the road conditions are treacherous, drive extra cautiously. When the weather is bad or the road is substandard, driving a semi certainly isn’t easy. Slow down and keep a safe distance from other drivers.

Help after the accident

If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident, the last thing you may want to think about is money. But nevertheless, the costs can add up quickly — medical bills, missed work days and even funeral expenses. It’s critical that you understand your rights and seek compensation for your suffering. Talk to an experienced Jasper attorney who can fight on your behalf and get you the fairest treatment possible under Alabama law.