Jackknife Truck Accidents In Florida Are More Common And Dangerous Than You Think. When regular cars face off against commercial vehicles like semis, they almost always lose. Due to their huge size, massive weight, heavy cargo and other variables, big rigs, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles inflict vast amounts of damage when they’re involved in car accidents. Because they have multiple segments and moveable joints, articulated vehicles, as they are technically called, are also susceptible to jackknifing.
Jackknifing happens when the trailer portion of a big rig moves faster than the cab in front of it. As a result, the trailer swings over onto one side at a 90-degree angle from the cab, folding over onto itself much like how a pocketknife blade folds into the handle.
If you have been involved in a jackknife truck accident in Orlando, it is crucial to seek qualified legal representation to ensure that your rights are adequately protected. Call 800.360.7015 today to speak with an experienced jackknife truck accident attorney.
Quick Facts About Jackknife Truck Accidents in Florida
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, or NHTSA, approximately 5 percent of all truck accidents involve jackknifing. Florida consistently ranks third in the nation for traffic fatalities involving semi-trucks. In 2012 alone, more than 200 fatalities involving big rigs occurred in the state.
Trucks jackknife for a number of reasons. However, driving too fast or braking too quickly on wet or otherwise slippery surfaces is by far the most common cause.
Additional causes of jackknifing include:
- navigating tight curves too quickly or carelessly
- improperly loaded cargo
- traveling at speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour
- failing to slow down when warranted
- improperly maintained brakes or other equipment
In a perfect world, semi-truck drivers would always exercise extreme care while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, they don’t always do so, which is why jackknifing is an all-too-real possibility on today’s roads.
How to Prevent Jackknifing
Due to its prevalence, truck drivers are supposed to undergo training for how to avoid or prevent jackknifing. Simply driving with care and staying alert are often enough. Maintaining a safe following distance is crucial too, as big, heavy trucks can’t stop on a dime.
On wet roads, brakes may become wet too, causing cab wheels to lock up. Meanwhile, the trailer keeps moving. Therefore, slowing down and being extra cautious in adverse weather conditions is crucial.
Truck drivers should also avoid braking harder than necessary, turn gently on tight curves, avoid flowing water and deep puddles and avoid using the engine brake or speed retarder on slippery surfaces.
Additionally, drivers should be properly trained. They should also regularly inspect their vehicles and make sure that cargo is properly secured.
Determining Liability and Damages
Determining liability for jackknife truck accidents in Orlando can be tricky due to complex legal issues. A number of federal and state laws may intersect, so working through the situation is often difficult. This is why it is especially important to have qualified legal representation if you are involved in a jackknife truck accident. Without doing so, you are far less likely to receive the compensation that you deserve.
Retain an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Jackknife truck accidents in Orlando can be absolutely devastating. They cause huge amounts of damage as well as personal injuries and even fatalities. Assuming that the law will protect you is a recipe for disaster. The same applies to insurance companies and trucking companies. Make sure that the responsible party is held accountable and that you receive the compensation that you are entitled by retaining an experienced truck accident attorney right away. Contact David & Philpot, P.L. for a free no obligation consultation about your case.