Commercial-sized vehicles can be intimidating on the road. They are very large and take longer to speed up and slow down. Further, it can be a little unnerving to pass them or drive alongside them because it can be difficult to know whether the trucker can see other vehicles or if they are in a blind spot.
But trucks don't have to be moving to cause some difficulty for other motorists. If a truck stops because it has jackknifed, it can create a very serious hazard for everyone else on the road.
As noted in this article, jackknifing happens when the rear trailer of a truck skids out to the side of the truck, creating an L or V shape. In this situation, the truck comes to a complete stop. While this occurrence is more common on wet or icy roads, it can happen at almost any time. In clear road conditions, jackknifing can happen if the trucker brakes too quickly or takes a turn while driving too fast, which can create a loss of friction for the rear wheels.
If there are other motorists driving behind the truck or next to it, they may not be able to stop or swerve in time to avoid hitting a disabled truck. A stopped truck can also be concern for oncoming traffic if the trucker loses control of the vehicle and ends up crossing over into other lanes.
Because of how suddenly this can happen and how significantly it can affect other motorists, truckers should be aware of and trained in maneuvers to prevent jackknifing. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a jackknifed truck, you may want to discuss the situation with an attorney. It is possible that the incident was the result of reckless or negligent behaviors by the trucker or failed maintenance by the owner. Under these circumstances, it may be possible to seek compensation for the damages suffered as a result of the crash.