In Texas, you might see commercial trucks rolling around. Out on the highway or on residential streets, these lumbering vehicles often contain goods the driver delivers to stores and other locations. A commercial truck might contain food, furniture, clothing, or just about anything else.
These trucks are enormous, much larger than a vehicle you’d use to drive to work or take your kids to school. The drivers need to exercise caution since one of these trucks hitting you can kill or severely injure you.
Jackknife collisions are one type that can happen when commercial truck drivers lose vehicular control. We’ll talk about this accident type in detail right now.
How Often Do Commercial Vehicle Accidents Occur in Texas?
Forty thousand commercial vehicle accidents happened in Texas in 2019. That number doesn’t change all that much from year to year.
This means commercial truck drivers lose vehicular control relatively often. Sometimes, a truck accident might involve the vehicle bumping into a car or something equally innocuous. However, even a minor commercial truck accident can cause injury or damage because of the vehicle’s massive size.
Because of this, you could say that commercial truck drivers have even more responsibility to drive safely than the average vehicle owner. The drivers need a special operator’s license before getting behind the wheel and maneuvering one of these huge behemoths. They should also take the job seriously every time they drive a commercial truck from point A to point B.
What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Commercial trucks typically have tracker trailers attached to them. That’s the container the truck lugs behind it, usually filled with goods for delivery.
In a jackknife truck situation, the truck skids on the road, and the driver loses control of the tractor-trailer behind them. The trailer moves in a completely different direction from the tractor, also sometimes called the vehicle’s cab.
The cab and trailer form a ninety-degree angle. That looks like an unfolded pocket knife, which is where this term originates. You can imagine how much damage a truck in this position can do if the driver can’t regain control fast enough, and either the cab or the trailer hits something going fast enough to pulverize it.
What Can You Do to Avoid Jackknife Accidents?
Commercial truck drivers can often avoid these accidents by slowing down. Unsafe speeds cause these wrecks more than anything else. A distracted driver can sometimes cause one as well. Bad weather might play a part or something slick on the road that causes the driver to lose control.
As for the average vehicle driver, they can also play a part and avoid many commercial truck accidents, including the jackknife variety. For instance, you can stay as far away from commercial trucks as possible.
If you see one on the highway or a local street, keep your eyes on it, and watch when it signals a lane change or does anything else that might bring it close to you. If you keep some distance between your vehicle and the commercial truck, you can usually avoid a wreck, even if you see the driver lose control suddenly. The distance between your vehicle and the truck is crucial.
What Can Happen in a Jackknife Accident?
When an eighteen-wheeler truck loses control in a jackknife accident, it can easily cause extensive damage. The cab or trailer hitting something can smash it into pieces. It can total your car or wreck a storefront if the crash occurs on a city street.
Injuries can also happen during jackknife truck crashes. For instance, one of these vehicles hitting your car from behind can cause a concussion, broken bones, whiplash, a traumatic brain injury, etc. You might survive the encounter, but your life may change dramatically from that point forward.
If a commercial truck hits you during a jackknife-style collision, you’ll need to call 911 immediately, assuming you have your smartphone on you and can do so. If you’re unconscious or can’t use your phone because of injury, you’ll need to ask the truck driver or other passing motorist or pedestrian to do it.
The truck driver’s insurance should pay for any vehicle damage and your medical bills, assuming you can prove the truck driver caused the accident. You may have to hire an attorney if the truck driver claims you caused the jackknife situation. The lawyer can fight for you and hopefully get the best possible outcome.
Featured Image by Sabine from Pixabay