When a truck is in transit, its cargo can shift and create a very dangerous situation for those in other vehicles near it. A load shift can result in jackknifing or even the cargo spilling onto the road or out of the rear of the truck’s trailer. Load shifting is a common cause of truck accidents. It often happens when a truck driver brakes in slippery conditions, and the truck’s trailer jackknifes and swings out from its pivot point and forms a “V” with the truck that’s pulling it. An 80,000 pound vehicle 60 feet long is completely out of control. It crashes into anything in its way. If you or somebody close to you has been the victim of a truck jackknife accident, contact our truck accident attorneys at Springer & Lyle right away.
Just about all jackknife accidents can be prevented if truck drivers exercise due care and caution for the condition of the roadway and the traffic ahead of them. Truck drivers can:
- Maintain a safe interval from vehicles ahead of them and a safe distance from vehicles around them
- Decelerate their tractor-trailer in a timely fashion before turns or curves
- Spread breaking for long distances
- Use defensive techniques before taking evasive maneuvers
- Steer into skids rather than brake into them
Although jackknifing might be caused by tire or equipment failure, most of the situations that truck drivers put themselves into when improperly loaded are caused by their own distracted driving. Those distractions might include but not be limited to:
- Texting or using a cell phone
- Using navigational devices
- Reaching for a sound system
- Reaching for a item inside the cab
- Driver fatigue
Negligence might also be attributable to the driver’s employer or another entity that loaded the cargo. Federal and state laws govern driver training, loading, securing and inspecting loads along with weight restrictions. Given the strict regulation of loading and securing cargo, there are very few viable excuses for load shifts, spilling or jackknife accidents.
A jackknifed truck operates as a gigantic out of control street sweeper taking anything in its path along with it. Whether distracted driving, equipment failure or driver carelessness was coupled with improper loading, contact the personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle if you or somebody close to you was a victim of an accident involving improper loading of a truck.