Truck accidents are a common everyday occurrence and can, unfortunately, lead to not only road closures, but devastating injuries for the parties involved. In 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,005 people killed and an estimated 159,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. NHTSA also found that approximately 10 percent of combination truck occupant (commonly known as semi-trucks or trucks with one or more trailers) fatalities are associated with jackknifing.
Jackknifing is a term that is used to describe a situation where a large truck skids and the trailer attached to the truck swings, or folds in an angle that resembles a folding pocket knife. Jackknifing accidents are considered one of the most common types of trucking accidents and can be caused by various factors. These factors may include, but are not limited to, speeding, turning too quickly, improper loading, or driving in bad weather conditions when there are slippery roads.
For example, in a recent news report, a big rig was traveling in the center lane when a tractor-trailer hit the left rear of another big rig in the outside lane. As a result, the first big rig jackknifed in the center and outside lanes, while the second big rig ended up in the outside lane and shoulder. The driver of one of the big rigs was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, while the driver of the other big rig had minor injuries.