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Watch out for jackknifed trucks on Kentucky roads

Winter is a particularly dangerous season for driving. One hazard truckers face during periods of inclement weather is jackknifing. A jackknifed truck is out of the control of its driver, which makes it potentially deadly to passenger vehicles in the vicinity.

It helps to understand the phenomenon.Jackknifing occurs when the cab of a semitruck and its trailer get out of sync. When it happens, typically the two segments wind up appearing like a folding knife in a "V" or "L" position.

Truckers often jackknife due to losing traction on slick or snowy roads. Even a little rain can create the conditions that cause trucks to jackknife. If the truck driver is inexperienced or panics and jams on the brakes, they can lock. When that occurs, the trailer swings wide to one side and can sideswipe nearby vehicles.

Truckers can avert jackknifing accidents by using their mirrors to alert them to swaying trailers, which is a precursor to disaster. Speeding up and releasing the brakes can sometimes assist drivers in maintaining control of their big rigs.

Full trailers lessen the likelihood of a jackknife incident happening, as heavier trailers sway less. It's also prudent to leave plenty of room between the front bumper of a truck and the vehicle ahead.

Were you injured in an accident with a jackknifed truck on a Kentucky road or interstate? Your injuries and damages may be severe, necessitating expensive medical treatment and rehabilitative services. You may be able to receive compensation for your pain, suffering, lost wages and other potential damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Bay & Bay Transportation News, "How Truck Drivers Can Avoid Jackknifing," accessed Feb. 09, 2018

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  • Kentucky Justice Association
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