The results from jackknife accidents in Seattle are devastating and scary. A fully loaded truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, and this weight can suddenly swing towards a smaller car, resulting in devastating harm.
Motorists immediately behind and beside a truck that jackknifes are put in immediate danger as they can collide with the swinging trailer. A car can also be squeezed between the trailer and the truck, causing serious damage to the vehicle and severe injuries or death to the driver and passengers. An experienced civil attorney could help you seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, permanent physical or mental disability, and other damages.
What is a Jackknife Accident?
A jackknife accident occurs when a semi-truck or tractor-trailer skids and swings out from behind and to the side, forming an “L” or “V” shape similar to a giant pocketknife folding in on itself. The semi-truck or tractor-trailer can block the highway, and oncoming or neighboring cars can slam into it or be struck by the swinging trailer.
Jackknife wrecks in Seattle are highly dangerous, often resulting in driver fatality, and causing significant damage to all vehicles involved. These collisions can involve several cars, and it is common for the highway to be closed for several hours.
Common Causes of Swinging Tractor-Trailers
An 18-wheeler can jackknife due to a variety of circumstances. The most common include:
A huge commercial truck takes a significant amount of time and control to stop, especially when it is moving at high speeds. The faster the truck is traveling, the higher the chances of the driver slamming the brakes when they need to stop quickly. This leads to braking imbalance, especially when brakes are improperly set, causing the semi-truck to slide out and jackknife.
If the truck’s load is not appropriately secured and balanced, items might shift during transit and cause the trailer to skid out and jackknife. According to studies, semi-trucks ferrying a lighter load are more likely to jackknife.
While slight curves are easier to maneuver, sharp corners with steep angles are hard for commercial trucks to navigate, especially when traveling at high speeds. These difficult turns can lead drivers to lose control of their trucks.
Harsh Weather Conditions and Slippery Roads
Jackknifes can easily occur when the roads are slick from rainfall or ice. Even the slightest wetness on the road can be hazardous, given the massive weight of the rig. Given the climate in Seattle, slick roads are a common cause of jackknifing commercial vehicle wrecks.
Driver Fatigue and Inexperience
Truck driving requires drivers to spend many hours behind the wheel, travelling hundreds of miles. This can lead drivers to feel fatigued, which impairs the driver’s judgment and ability to concentrate. Exhaustion can also lead truck drivers to lose their capacities to manage their vehicles, which require specific skills and concentration.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies hire truck drives without training them properly. This lack of training can lead novice truck drivers to panic and fail to respond appropriately when faced with a dangerous situation.
Speak with a Seattle Attorney if Hurt in a Jackknife Truck Accident
Due to the size of the trucks on the roads and highways, injuries and damages from jackknife accidents in Seattle are often severe. If you were injured by a swinging tractor-trailer, you may require extensive medical care and physical therapy while simultaneously navigating decreased capabilities to work.
At Odama Hart, we understand that the results of a jackknife accident can be devastating and life-altering. We could help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation.