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Protect yourself from jackknifing accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2022 | Trucking Accidents |

Many people across Georgia make their living as professional drivers. Large trucks and commercial vehicles provide vital goods and services to people both within the state and across the country.

Generally, other than the occasional delay, truckers manage to reach their destinations without too much hassle. Sadly, in some cases, accidents do occur. One of the most common and dangerous accidents among truck drivers is jackknifing accidents. What exactly is jackknifing and how can it be prevented?

Jackknifing explained

It is very rare to see a truck traveling without any sort of load attached to the rear. Trailers provide crucial storage space, but they also add a further dynamic to driver safety. It takes many months and sometimes even years to become fully competent in driving large vehicles with cargo on board. Jackknifing occurs when the attached trailer moves rapidly in another direction, which in turn causes the towing vehicle to lose control. This frequently happens at higher speeds, resulting in the vehicle spinning around and even rolling over.

Can jackknifing be prevented?

The first step towards preventing jackknifing is to ensure that loads are secure. This is something that truck drivers are legally obligated to do anyway. Surprisingly, heavier loads can make a jackknifing incident less likely, as the trailer will be more firmly weighed down. Often, jackknifing occurs when a lighter load is attached. The trailer becomes less stable but still heavy enough to make the towing vehicle lose control.

Truck drivers should also ensure that they maintain safe distances from the vehicle in front. Sudden braking maneuvers could result in the trailer swinging side to side, potentially ending in a severe jackknifing incident.

With the correct response, truck drivers can prevent an accident from getting out of hand. If braking must occur, it is vital not to steer at the same time. Slowing down as efficiently as possible and in a straight line will decrease the chances of a jackknifing incident occurring.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, accidents can still occur. If you have been injured in a vehicular collision, be sure to check out your legal options in Georgia.