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What Causes a Semi-truck to Jackknife?

A semi-truck jackknifes when the trailer of the semi skids in one direction while the cab goes in another direction. Frequently, the semi overturns because it is out of control. A jackknife semi-truck accident can happen in an instant. If you are following behind a semi when it jackknifes, you could be caught in a semi-truck accident in a heartbeat.

One of the most dangerous types of semi-truck accidents is when the truck jackknifes. Semi-truck accidents are some of the most dangerous of all types of motor vehicle accidents. In fact, in 2016, more than 3,800 people were killed as a result of a semi-truck accident according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. About one in ten highway accidents involve a large commercial truck.

The following are some common causes of a semi-truck jackknife.

What Causes a Semi-truck to Jackknife?

Problems with the Brakes

Semi-truck jackknife accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is that the truck is in need of brake maintenance or adjustment. When the brakes are not functioning as they should, it causes the axles to lock up, especially when braking hard. The truck then drags the trailer with locked brakes, pushing it out to the side of the cab.


Another cause for a semi-truck to jackknife is if the semi-truck driver is going too fast. Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. When a semi needs to brake quickly, it can become too much for the trailer to handle and thus the cab stops at a different rate than the trailer and causes the semi to jackknife.

Road Conditions

Roads that are slippery can also cause a semi-truck to jackknife because the tires lose tracking and slide. The driver than is unable to gain control and thus a jackknife semi-truck accident occurs. Besides weather conditions, road curves or trying to maneuver around debris can also factor in a jackknife semi-truck accident.

Driver is Inexperienced

If the semi-truck driver is inexperienced at handling such a large vehicle, a jackknife accident may occur. This is likely the case in many jackknife semi-truck accidents. An inexperienced driver or one who is simply fatigued and not able to handle the truck, often causes the semi to jackknife.

Contact a Semi Truck Accident Attorney at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Spokane Now

Do not wait to call a semi truck accident attorney. Doing so could hurt your case. Call our Spokane law office now for a free consultation at (509) 482-7274. This is your opportunity to discuss your case with an experienced semi truck accident attorney at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Spokane, WA. Our law firm can help take the stress out of your semi truck accident claim and make sure you get every penny you are owed. Our law firm works on a contingency fee. You pay nothing until your case is settled. Call the Spokane law office of Parke Gordon Law Firm now to get started on your semi truck accident case. (509) 482-7274

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421 W Riverside, Suite 256
Spokane, WA 99201
Phone:(509) 482-7274

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