New Jersey residents likely take comfort in the fact that sophisticated anti-jackknife technology has been developed and is being used to combat driver error. Unfortunately, not every driver of 18 wheelers or trucks that are towing trailers or boats has access to this technology. Thankfully, there are steps they can take to prevent a jackknife situation.
Jackknifing often occurs because trailers are empty. When a trailer is heavy, it weighs down on the road more heavily and creates more fiction, which leads to better traction. Individuals who are driving trucks with empty trailers need to constantly look in their mirrors in order to watch for trailer swing.
Proper braking techniques are essential in preventing jackknifing and truck accidents. Instead of braking during a turn, it is better to decelerate slowly on a long stretch of road before a curve or bend. Drivers should avoid slamming on the brakes. This will make the brakes lock and create a jackknife situation. In order to avoid situations where hard braking seems inevitable, it is best to keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
When a truck driver notices that his or her vehicle is starting to jackknife, he or she may be able to prevent the load from bending into an angle of no return. To allow the wheels to resume rolling and then regain traction, it is recommended that drivers let go of the brake. Increasing the speed and then steering out may mean that the trailer will fall back in line.
Due to the size difference between passenger vehicles and 18 wheelers, accidents involving both of these types of vehicles can be devastating for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. Victims of truck accidents may wish to speak with a lawyer. An attorney could provide information about helping them receive compensation for their injuries and even represent them in court.