Civil Justice Warriors

Causes of Jackknife Accidents

The sight of a tractor-trailer swinging towards you sideways is one of the most terrifying sights you can imagine. This is called a jackknife accident, and they are the unfortunate cause of numerous serious injuries every year. Jackknifing is the term for when a tractor-trailer loses traction and careens out of control, often dragging the truck itself with it due to its immense weight. One of the easiest ways to avoid one of these accidents is to simply know what causes them, and stay away if you notice any of these risk factors. What are these causes? Read on to find out.

Prior Collisions

If a truck is involved in a collision, the sudden loss of momentum often forces the immense weight of the trailer to continue onward. This often carries the trailer around the side of the truck, sweeping it across the road and colliding with anything in its path. If you notice a semi-truck accident and have time to react, immediately slow down and watch out for the trailer swinging around.

Inclement Weather

Slippery roads cause car accidents of many types because they reduce vehicle traction. However, they also reduce traction for tractor trailers, which increases the chances one may jackknife. This doesn’t necessarily need to occur during a collision either: sudden braking or turning too sharp can also result in a trailer jackknifing.

Improper Braking

A truck driver that must stop quickly often locks up their brakes to bring their massive machine to a halt. Unfortunately, when this is the case, the tires will often skid and lose traction, causing the trailer to behave erratically. If you must merge in front of a semi-truck, be sure to do so cautiously and only when you know they will have plenty of room to stop. If they are forced to jam on their brakes they could lose control of their trailer.

Negligent Maintenance

This is a hard one to tell just by looking at it, but things such as balding tire treads, underinflated tires, or old worn-out brakes can all contribute to a jackknifing accident. Drivers rely on these systems to work correctly and to the best of their abilities in order to drive safely, but failing to maintain them can result in one failing at an inopportune time.


Trucks can transport a lot of cargo, but they have their limits. Trucks that carry more cargo than this limit are not only at risk of mechanical failure, but they seriously increase their crash risk as well. A truck that is overloaded cannot stop quick enough to avoid certain situations, and their immense payload can also result in serious injuries due to even more force being involved in the accident.

If you are involved in a trucking accident, call the skilled Dallas personal injury attorneys at Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers. We understand that the last thing you want to deal with after a painful and life-changing truck accident is a legal battle, and we take great pride in keeping your best interests and goals at the forefront of our strategy. We analyze all of the evidence in your case to fight tirelessly on your behalf because we recognize the immense consequences a serious injury can have on your life, and we strive to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Get a free consultation for your case by calling Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (214) 739-0100.