What is a Jackknife Accident?

Hidalgo County, Texas truck accident attorney Raúl Guajardo explains how jackknife accidents happen and who may be liable in a claim.

Hidalgo County sits at the intersection of two major interstates. This means semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other big rigs pass through on a regular basis, increasing truck accident risks. At the Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo, P.L.L.C., we represent truck accident victims and their families, helping them get the compensation they are entitled to for their injuries. Our Hidalgo County truck accident attorney explains what a jackknife accident is and who can be held liable in a claim.

Jackknife Truck Accidents and How They Happen

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) reports that roughly 500 truck accidents in Hidalgo County happen each year. In terms of risk, this ranks us within the top 10 counties in the state. Jackknife truck accidents are one of the most common. They occur when the truck trailer goes out of control, sliding out to one side or the other and riding up at a 180-degree angle to the truck cab.

How do truck accidents happen? They typically occur due to truck drivers suddenly slamming on their brakes. Reckless driving behaviors that can make jackknife truck accidents more likely to happen include:

  • Tailgating, or following other drivers too closely;
  • Failing to yield;
  • Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
  • Running red lights and stop signs.

When truck drivers fail to allow enough space between them or disregard post traffic signs and signals, they endanger themselves and others on the road. Other factors often to blame when jackknife accidents in Hidalgo County happen include uneven loading, mechanical failures, and driving while drowsy, distracted, or under the influence.

Who is Liable for a Jackknife Truck Accident in Hidalgo County?

The swinging motion of the trailer in a jackknife truck accident can end up impacting other motorists in all surrounding lanes and may even trigger a multi-vehicle pileup. In these crashes, the massive size and weight of the truck help to protect the truck driver. It is other motorists involved who typically suffer the greatest harm.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), jackknife accidents are responsible for close to 40% of all fatal truck accidents and more than half of all injury crashes. Those who may be liable for injuries you suffer in a jackknife accident in Hidalgo County include:

  • The truck driver, due to their role in the crash;
  • Other motorists involved, who may have slammed into your vehicle;
  • The trucking company, for overscheduling driver or engaging in other negligent practices;
  • Trucking parts manufacturers, for defects in couplings or other parts, which can make jackknife accidents more likely to happen.

Request a Consultation With Our Hidalgo County, TX Truck Accident Attorney

At the Law Office of Raúl Guajardo, P.L.L.C., we are dedicated to helping victims of jackknife accidents and their families get the compensation they are entitled to for their injuries. To request a consultation, call or contact our Hidalgo County truck accident attorney online today.