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What Causes Jackknife Truck Accidents in Florida?


Truck crashes are considered the most dangerous and traumatic of all types of accidents on Florida’s roadways. Big rigs, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers can cause terrifying collisions, resulting in personal injury lawsuits, thousands of dollars in property damage, and wrongful deaths.

More than 4,100 people died in 2018 as a result of truck accidents across the United States. One of the deadliest types of truck collisions occurs when the vehicle jackknifes.

A Truck Jackknifes in Florida

One such crash has recently occurred on Interstate 95 near Hillsboro Boulevard. According to the Sun-Sentinel, traffic came to a half before 5:30 a.m. last Friday after a tractor-trailer jackknifed.

Two factors may have contributed to the crash. Firstly, there was ongoing road construction in the area. Secondly, most of South Florida’s highways and roads were wet and slick that morning because of overnight and early morning rain.

I-95’s northbound lanes between Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton’s Palmetto Park Road were closed for more than three hours after the truck came to a stop near the median of the northbound lanes.

Thousands were forced to seek alternate routes to bypass traffic jams, but it is fair to say that many were late for work and school. The cause of the jackknife crash was not immediately known.

What is a Jackknife Accident?

Jackknife truck accidents are not uncommon on Florida’s highways and roadways. These dangerous and, oftentimes, fatal crashes tend to sprawl across multiple lanes, causing bodily injury and property damage to multiple motorists.

A truck jackknifes when the truck cab heads in one direction and the trailer skids in the opposite direction because some or all of the truck’s wheels lose traction on the road.

Often, the truck overturns in jackknife accidents because the trucker is unable to control the vehicle’s movement. Anyone traveling behind or near the truck can get caught up in the accident within seconds because a truck jackknifes in an instant when nobody expects it.

How Do Jackknife Accidents Happen?

Causes of jackknife accidents vary greatly, though the most common factors that cause a truck to jackknife are:

  • Improper brake maintenance
  • Incorrect adjustment of the brake system
  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Sudden braking
  • Mechanical failure
  • Bad road conditions
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Lack of driving experience
  • Fatigued driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving

Faulty brakes are a common cause of truck jackknife crashes because improperly functioning brakes can cause the axles to lock up. Traveling too fast and sudden braking is too much for a trailer to handle, which can cause the truck to stop at a different speed compared to the trailer.

Both poor road conditions and bad weather conditions may also cause a truck to jackknife. When driving on slippery or wet roads, a truck can lose traction and slide. The same can be said about road curves, potholes, debris, and other conditions that can result in a jackknife accident.

Other contributing factors can be driver inexperience, fatigued driving, driving while impaired, and getting distracted behind the wheel. Regardless of how your jackknife truck collision occurred, speak with a West Palm Beach trucking accident attorney to seek compensation. Contact Pike & Lustig, LLP, to establish fault in your situation. Call at 561-291-8298.





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