Steps to Take After a Jackknife Truck Crash
Whether you’re traveling on highways or residential streets, defensive driving is vital. In fact, many car accidents can be avoided by defensive driving. But most tips for defensive driving often leave out best practices for driving near large trucks. Collisions involving these oversized trucks and smaller passenger vehicles can have tragic consequences, so it’s important to be prepared.
Oftentimes, trucking accidents cause catastrophic damage, especially when a truck collides with a passenger car. When truck drivers are injured in these accidents, it may be difficult for them to cope in the aftermath. Furthermore, truck drivers may lose their jobs following a truck accident.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Arizona, contact the Phoenix accident attorneys at ELG. Our team of truck accident lawyers is here to help. While not all auto accidents with trucks can be avoided, there are a few ways you can stay safe next time you hit the road.
One of the most common (and dangerous) types of truck accidents is a jackknife incident. Jackknifing occurs when a truck’s trailer comes unattached from the cab or causes the cab to turn on its side. Jackknifing can happen for several different reasons, including but not limited to:
- Travel on very wet or icy roads.
- Abrupt braking, which causes the trailer with tremendous weight and momentum to shift off-course.
- Any travel at a high rate of speed and subsequent abrupt action, especially with a trailer containing a light load that’s more likely to be volatile.
- Travel with improperly loaded cargo in the trailer, when all of the weight is on one side.
- Travel with improperly secured cargo, which can suddenly shift in one direction in response to a turn.
In addition, studies have shown that the likelihood of jackknifing is much greater when a truck encounters curves or travels downhill at excessive speeds.
Stay Mindful of Trucks
It’s hard to avoid jackknifing incidents as another traveler on the road. But keeping enough space around your vehicle is essential when you’re traveling next to large trucks. When driving near trucks in Arizona, simply give them more space. Make sure you always drive at least five seconds behind a truck to give yourself enough time to react as well. Though you can’t control other drivers’ actions or improperly-secured cargo, you can increase your reaction time and awareness of other vehicles.
Plus, you should always avoid other drivers’ blind spots on the road. When it comes to large trucks, this rule is especially important. Large trucks have more blind spots and larger blind spots, blocking out a huge amount of space. Avoid the spaces 20 feet ahead of the truck and 30 feet behind the truck to avoid a driver’s blind spots, and avoid the area adjacent to the driver’s side.
Alert the Authorities
If you do sustain injuries in a jackknife truck accident, confirm the safety of all involved and call medical assistance if needed. Don’t leave the scene of the accident and contact the police immediately. Leaving the scene of a truck accident is against the law in most parts of the country, including Arizona. That’s why it’s vital to get a police report to settle your case.
When the police do arrive at the scene, avoid admitting fault or dismissing anybody else’s roles in the accident. Stick to the facts of the crash, and refrain from providing more detail than necessary.
Truck Accident Attorney in Arizona
When you keep these tips for driving safely near trucks in mind, you’ll be well-prepared on the road. But even the best drivers can’t always avoid truck accidents. If you’re injured or your vehicle is damaged in a truck accident, contact our Phoenix accident attorneys at ELG. Contact our truck accident attorneys at (623) 877-3600 for a free consultation and legal representation today.