When commercial trucks jackknife, they can cause crashes that involve multiple other vehicles. Sometimes, they block an entire street or end up rolling over because the driver has completely lost control of the vehicle.
There is a strong association between a truck jackknifing and a loss of traction where the tires hit the road. Often, wet or icy road conditions can lead to a truck jackknifing. Truckers generally need to adjust their behaviors to prevent these collisions by slowing down when roads are wet or icy.
However, sometimes, the driver isn’t the only one to blame when they lose control of their semitruck. Their employer or possibly a client could share some – or most – of the responsibility for the wreck.
When is an employer responsible?
There are three main ways in which commercial trucking companies contribute to jackknife incidents. The first is through unforgiving schedules and unrealistic demands on their workers.
Truckers who feel like they cannot slow down even when the roads are icy because they will lose pay or face punishment for reaching their destination behind schedule may try to maintain the same speeds all the time even if the roads are obviously unsafe.
Trucking companies can also contribute to jackknife collisions by not offering enough training or hiring drivers with minimal experience. Finally, inadequate vehicle maintenance could contribute, especially if there are worn tires on the truck.
How might a client cause a jackknife collision?
A trucking company’s client could also contribute to a jackknife incident by demanding specific delivery schedules regardless of weather conditions. They can also cause issues by loading the trailer themselves without taking due care towards balancing the contents.
A light trailer, for example, makes the truck more likely to lose traction because gravity doesn’t provide as much assistance. Improperly-loaded vehicles can also be a risk. Too much weight on one side or the other or a failure to disclose fluid contents to a driver could impact how well they can manage the vehicle.
Many crashes involving commercial trucks simply require an insurance claim. In scenarios where you can connect the incident to behavior by an employer or a transportation client, those companies may be liable for some of the losses you suffered. Looking into what ultimately caused a trucking crash is an important step for those seeking financial justice.