What Is A Truck Jackknife?

White big rig long haul semi truck with high cab and semi trailer turning on warehouse parking lot waiting for loading and possibility of continuing to the destination according to approved scheduleThis refers to a truck accident where a truck with two separate parts folds in on itself at the point of separation. The cab and trailer swivel where they are linked together, forming a 90-degree angle “V” shape. This hinging effect closely resembles the effect of a pocket knife blade folding into its handle while closing.

However, unlike a pocket knife, when a truck folds in on itself, it doesn’t provide protection. On the contrary, it causes destruction. If you get an injury in a truck jackknife crash, you should not wait to contact a Round Rock personal injury lawyer who handles complex truck accident cases.


Information about Jackknife Crashes

Any truck accident, where jackknifing is involved can give rise to a major legal claim. The sheer weight and size of trucks pose an extreme risk of injury to other drivers involved in all truck-related accidents.

When jackknifing occurs in a truck accident, the usual destructive potential for a truck accident is amplified. There will be additional injury risks stemming from a jackknifing scenario, as more nearby motorists might be in the crashing truck’s path. Imagine nearly a huge trailer that is swinging towards your vehicle or into the lane ahead of you. You can easily imagine why this type of accident can pose such dangers to motorists.

About five percent of all truck accidents are jackknife collisions, which is a high number given all the truck accidents that occur in the U.S. each year. However, knowing the conditions where these types of accidents could occur can help you avoid them.


The most common circumstances you need to be aware of that cause trucks to jackknife include:

  • High speeds: When a large truck is traveling over 55 miles per hour, it becomes extremely difficult to stop abruptly. If a truck driver slams on his brakes while going above this speed, the likelihood increases drastically. The heavy trailer pulled behind the truck to swing out of control.
  • Curves: Slight curves shouldn’t pose much risk to commercial truck drivers. However, the steeper the angle and the longer the trailer, the greater the chance that the trailer end will swing and cause the entire truck to lose control and jackknife, folding in on itself.
  • Slippery weather conditions and roads: A loss of traction with the road due to inclement weather can cause weight to shift and lead to both the cab and trailer sliding. Considering the massive weight and length of commercial trucks, even a small slide can cause the truck to jackknife.
  • Equipment malfunction or negligence: Whether it’s a hydraulic failure, brake failure, or driver error, the slightest malfunction can cause a truck to lose control and sway back and forth.


Speak with a Round Rock Personal Injury Attorney

At Elissa I. Henry Law Firm, we prioritize our clients getting the most for their claim above all else.  We will guide you through the intricacies of a successful claim following a truck jackknifing accident. With convenient locations throughout Texas, we strive to best represent our client’s claims as best we can to assure you have the maximum recovery available for your injuries. Contact us today either online or by calling (512) 766-4529 today for a consultation.