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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Can You Do to Avoid Jackknife Accidents in TN?

Thanks to the size of trucks and the weight both they and their cargo have, the potential for certain accidents is much higher. A jackknife accident sits among these possibilities and could mean a lot of damage to other vehicles using the roadway.

One of the worrisome features of a jackknife truck accident is its sheer unpredictability. The path that debris and destruction can follow is wide-reaching, and much of this comes from the fact that the trailers and cabins can end up going in completely different directions.

That means when a truck driver loses control of the vehicle, there's no telling if the vehicle will roll onto its side or end up jackknifing and damaging other vehicles or property in the process.

While no strategy is foolproof, some actions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of ending up with serious injuries because of a jackknifed truck.

Reduce Speed and Drive Carefully

Reduce Speed and Drive Carefully

Remember that there has been and will always be an inverse relationship between speed and control. The faster one drives, the less control that person will be able to exert over the vehicle. Sometimes, drivers can see the danger they're about to be in coming but they are going way too fast to be able to respond well enough to avoid it.

If it's possible to see truck drivers losing control before the eventual jackknifing, it may be possible to simply stop or adjust position just enough to avoid being hurt by the semi.

Of course, if a vehicle driver is going too fast, it isn't always possible to do this because of the control that has been compromised.

Stay Out of The Blind Spots of Tractor Trailers

Truck manufacturers will usually try to make their units as safe as possible, but it would be impossible for them to prevent certain things given the sheer size of trucks. One of these issues is the large blind spots trucks are synonymous with, especially when there are long trailers to account for.

When behind a truck, drivers who cannot see the truck driver's face also cannot be seen by the truck driver and must exercise caution with both proximity and attempting to pass.

If passing is to happen, do it on the driver's side since there is less obscured vision that way.

Obey Road Regulations

Whether it's speed, failure to yield when required, or stopping on highways in places that are not meant for stopping, sometimes other drivers are the reasons a semi-truck collision happens. To avoid certain catastrophic injuries, drivers of passenger vehicles are advised to obey the rules of the road as these are meant to keep them and others safe as they use roads. Truck accident lawyers in Nashville TN can give more insight to this.

Adapt Your Driving Style to the Conditions

It's never a good idea to drive the same way regardless of road conditions. Sometimes, it's possible to drive a little faster and safely under normal circumstances, but what about those situations in which there is heavy rain or snow at play? This makes the likelihood of unfortunate accidents higher.

Additionally, some roads may simply be in bad condition and it's essential to proceed with caution when they are being used.

Remain Observant

Driving on the interstate or highways can be particularly monotonous and boring, which means it's that much easier to fall into a state of reduced alertness or fall asleep behind the wheel. The challenge here is that multiple drivers may be experiencing the same thing, which means being on the alert is twice as important.

When going for a long drive, it's important to plan for sleep, music, and even company to ensure that there's as much alertness as possible for the trip. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can give you the answers to questions like, What can you do to avoid rollover accidents in TN?

Always Allow for Extra Space

While there should be no cutting in front of any kind of vehicle, it's particularly important to avoid doing this to trucks. For one thing, being too close while in front of a truck reduces the truck driver's visibility because of the sheer height of the semi.

Additionally, trucks being a lot heavier than standard passenger vehicles means that they need more time and distance to be able to come to a stop, which makes an accident while doing so with no space that much more likely. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has advice on what can you do to avoid wide turn accidents in TN.

Why Do These Truck Accidents Typically Occur?

Jackknife accidents can be caused by a myriad of circumstances, but some are more likely than others, which include:

  1. Speeding or other forms of reckless driving are problematic. Since their engines are so powerful, even when carrying heavy loads, trucks can go incredibly fast. This further compromises their ability to slow down or make certain turns. A high center of gravity doesn't help either.

  2. No matter how big or strong a tractor-trailer is, weight limits exist for a reason. Trailers are not meant to carry loads beyond a specific size. Unfortunately, some trucking companies may elect to go over these limits as they try to maximize their earnings at the cost of safety.

  3. As indicated before, the kind of distance tractor-trailers need to stop effectively is much greater than that of standard vehicles. That means when they follow other drivers too closely, they reduce their ability to stop when they should.

  4. Jackknife accidents are significantly more likely when road conditions are less than favorable. Truck drivers are expected to make adjustments to their speed and other driving behaviors to compensate for this but some don't do so well enough or at all.

Who Is Liable for Jackknife Truck Accidents?

Who Is Liable for Jackknife Truck Accidents?

Truck accidents have a greater layer of complexity when compared to their passenger vehicle counterparts. In some cases, the driver will be at fault for the severe injuries and property damage caused to others because of negligent behavior.

However, there are cases where the driver isn't the problem. A trucking company may be at fault for improper maintenance or overloading the vehicle. Part manufacturers may also be liable because of defective components.

Combinations of these parties and even others may also be liable.

Don't Forget to Speak to a Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyer

When jackknifed trucks cause injuries that lead to pain, suffering, and costs such as medical bills and lost wages, the respective insurance company needs to compensate victims fairly.

The outstanding lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Nashville are ready to go to war for you! No negligent party should get to harm you and get away freely.

Call for your free consultation today!


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