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How can you avoid a jackknifing semi-truck?

| Sep 28, 2021 | Trucking Accidents |

Large commercial vehicles like semi-trucks help transport large quantities of goods and raw materials efficiently. However, having these big vehicles share the road with smaller passenger cars causes a lot of crashes. 

Commercial vehicles are at risk for some of the most dramatic and unpredictable collisions possible, including a jackknife crash. If you encounter a truck driver who seems about to lose control of their vehicle, is there anything that you can do to avoid getting involved in the collision?

Jackknife crashes are often chaotic

Many basic motor vehicle collisions are over within a few seconds. One vehicle runs the light or turns when it shouldn’t, striking another vehicle. Both vehicles quickly come to a stop, and the drivers start to deal with the fallout. 

A jackknife incident leading to a crash could last for a surprisingly long time. It will start when the trailer and cab of the semi-truck no longer travel with the exact same velocity. Once the trucker fully loses control of the vehicle, it may turn and block all lanes of traffic or even roll over. Multiple other vehicles could wind up involved. 

One of the best ways to avoid involvement in a jackknife collision is to respect the blind spots of commercial trucks. If you are several vehicle distances away from the big truck, you will be far less likely to get swept up in the jackknife collision as it occurs. Carefully watching nearby vehicles, especially when roads are slippery or winds are strong, could help you spot danger signs before the crash too. 

However, you can’t always control how close you have to drive to certain other vehicles. Understanding that the commercial vehicle is definitely at fault for a jackknifed truck crash can help you respond appropriately after a wreck.