When large trucks jackknife on Kentucky highways, people are put in harm’s way. In most cases, though, jackknifing is a preventable situation. The first thing the truck driver should do is check his or her mirrors to monitor the frequency of the trailer swing. It’s important to do this every time hard braking is required. If the trailer is heading toward a jackknife during a hard brake, the recommended course is to let off the brake to regain static friction. Increasing speed may also be required to bring the trailer back into position.
Many reports of jackknifing indicate that the trailer being pulled was empty. The lighter a trailer is, the less it holds to the road, meaning less traction. It is also easier for the driver to over brake when there is no load in the trailer, and over braking can lead to jackknife accidents. Proper braking is essential when driving a semi-truck. The truck should be slowed before taking a turn or curve, rather than during as might be done with a smaller vehicle.
Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles can help truck drivers avoid hard braking situations. It is also best to avoid braking and swerving simultaneously. Truck drivers may have to brake, then let off the brake to steer, then brake again. Jackknifing can be a hazard for commercial truckers or for others who are pulling a trailer behind a truck. It can block the roadway and cause serious accidents.
People who are injured due to the negligence or mistakes of a truck driver might be entitled to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney who handles truck accidents in Kentucky might be able to help by gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to build a case for trial. An attorney might be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with at-fault drivers, their trucking companies or insurers.