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Semi-Truck Jackknife Accidents in Minnesota

woodbury semi-truck jackknife accident lawsuit injury claim attorney Minnesota

Semi-Truck Accident’s Caused by Jackknifing

Semi-trucks require an even more deft hand and skill to ensure that the driver does not end up losing control. Many people assume that semi-trucks handle similarly to other motor vehicles that may happen to haul a trailer which is simply not true. Semi-trucks come with significantly greater weight and size that can lead to a number of issues when it comes to driving them. Semi-truck drivers require special training and a great deal of experience to ensure that they are able to properly handle their vehicles with minimum risk of endangering themselves and others on the road with a semi-truck accident. These semi-truck accidents can be especially dangerous and deadly when compared to other motor vehicle accidents. One specific type of accident that has become synonymous with semi-trucks and the catastrophic damage that they can cause is the jackknife accident

What is a Jackknife Accident?

A jackknife accident is when a semi-truck’s trailer ends up wrapping around the side of the truck cab and folds in like its namesake the jackknife. This is the result of the massive physical forces that are generated by a semi-truck being displaced. Essentially what happens is a semi-truck trailer will continue moving while the cab of the truck will be moving at a much slower speed or stopped which leads to the inertia to force the semi-truck trailer to move forward in any way it can. 

Braking and Jackknife Accidents

This catastrophic type of accident can have a number of causes. The negligence that leads to these jackknifing accidents can come from a number of sources as well. Most semi-truck jackknife accidents will typically be the result of an issue with the braking of the truck. Braking with a semi-truck is actually much more difficult than many realize. Thanks to their immense size and weight, braking a semi-truck does not cause the vehicle to stop like other motor vehicles. A semi-truck will actually continue on for a short distance after a driver engages the brakes. A semi-truck trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds which does not stop very easily and can generate a great deal of force. Therefore, semi-truck drivers need to be sure that they leave a buffer space that gives the truck enough distance to brake safely. 

Semi-truck drivers must also be very careful with how hard they engage their truck’s brakes. Slamming on a semi-truck’s brakes is like having someone at the front of a line of people that are running stopping hard in their tracks. The rest of the line will all slam into the leader and chaos ensues except its with a several ton truck trailer that can crush several other motor vehicles. 

Brake Malfunctions and Jackknifing

It is especially imperative that the brakes on a semi-truck function correctly or there can be a very high risk that a semi-truck will cause a jackknife accident or semi-truck accident in general. Semi-truck brakes can lock up or not engage correctly which can lead to losing control and the truck stopping suddenly which is a recipe for a jackknife to occur. These malfunctions can occur because of issues with semi-truck maintenance or maybe a brake or associated semi-truck part may have some kind of defect either in terms of design or manufacture. 

Adverse Weather Conditions and Semi-Truck Jackknifing

Minnesota can see some very adverse weather conditions that can drastically increase the chance of a jackknife accident occurring. Heavy rain can slick the road and make semi-truck drivers lose control and jackknife. Heavily iced roads can be especially dangerous and affect many drivers here in Minnesota. Semi-truck drivers need to take the necessary precautions when driving on icy roads during Minnesota winters due to the decreased friction that increases the chance of a jackknife accident occurring. 

Why are Jackknife Accidents so Dangerous

When a semi-truck jackknifes there is a very high chance that several vehicles will be caught in the path of the trailer that wraps around the side of the truck cab. The trailer of a semi-truck can easily crush many motor vehicles and can even catch vehicles in the space under it in what is call under-riding. The people inside cars that are caught by a trailer that jackknifes can easily be wrongfully killed due to the immense trauma caused by the powerful forces at play but if they survive then they can also sustain severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken or fractured bones, and assorted internal injuries. 


Contact Sand Law’s Experienced Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyers if you or a loved one have been involved in a Minnesota truck accident. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Your primary concern should be recovery and we understand that balancing that with a truck accident injury claim can be difficult. Allow us to represent you and help secure a settlement you are comfortable with while you heal. To contact Sand Law about a semi-truck accident claim you can either call us at (651) 571-4125 or contact us online