While many industries rely on big rigs to transport products across Texas and across the United States, trucking accidents can be catastrophic or deadly for other drivers. One particularly dangerous accident is jackknifing, when a trailer skids or swerves to the side of the cab and forms a “V” or “L” shape. The skidding trailer may hit other vehicles, and other vehicles may be caught between the trailer and the cab of the semi-truck.

What causes these dangerous and deadly accidents?

Bad weather

Rainy weather and winter storms often make roads slippery, and these conditions make it difficult for drivers to control their vehicle’s trailer.

Brake issues

Antilock brakes on trailers have helped decrease the risk of jackknifing, but this technology can only protect truckers and the other vehicles they share the road with if it is properly manufactured and maintained. Carriers that do not uphold their responsibility to maintain trailers or manufacturers that produce faulty brakes can create serious hazards.

Driving too quickly

The momentum of a large commercial vehicle makes speeding particularly dangerous. If drivers must brake suddenly to avoid a hazard, the momentum of their trailer can carry it forward into a jackknifed position.

Unbalanced loads

Proper loading allows semi-trucks to carry heavy weights across the United States, but improperly loading or securing the truck’s load can cause the trailer to become unbalanced. Unbalanced loads can be difficult to control.

Driver errors

Driving a commercial vehicle requires proper care and training. If carriers do not properly train their employees to avoid these accidents, those drivers may not have the experience necessary to control their vehicle on sharp turns, crowded roads or poor weather.

Even experienced drivers, though, can make mistakes that cause a tragic accident. Fatigued drivers may not be able to focus fully on driving their vehicle, and impatient truckers may drive too quickly for road conditions or take turns too sharply.

Whether driver errors or company negligence causes these accidents, victims can hold them responsible for their part. By taking legal action against the people or companies liable for the accident, they can get the financial support they need after catastrophic jackknifing accidents.