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There’s a higher risk of jackknifing in wintry conditions

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

While much of the country welcome springtime, northern Illinois residents realize we’re not out of the woods yet regarding wintry weather. All it takes is one big storm barreling in off Lake Michigan to create potentially deadly lake effect weather conditions.

Snow and ice are two of the most hazardous highway conditions that semitruck drivers face. Both can lead to an 18-wheeler jackknifing on the interstate. 

Why jackknifing trucks are so dangerous to other drivers

A jackknifing big rig is completely out of the control of its driver. The term refers to the “V” or sometimes “L” shape of the truck’s final position because it appears like an opened pocketknife, When the truck’s cab and its trailer go in opposite directions, occupants of the cars and trucks in the lanes beside the jackknifing semitruck can be seriously hurt or even killed.

The role of weather in jackknifing incidents

Trucks jackknife during all four seasons of the year, although snow and ice enhance the risk. All it takes is a slick road surface to cause the semitruck’s wheels to lose traction and start the skid.

Truck drivers can sometimes bring their rigs out of a skid – but only if they have sufficient room. If they have been following too closely on the bumper of the vehicle ahead of them, they neither have the time nor the space to stop safely and prevent a jackknife incident.

Were you injured in an accident with a jackknifed truck?

If so, you may struggle for months or even years with the challenges that come with recovering from serious injuries from a wreck with a semitruck. Some injuries can cause permanent damage that prevents wage earners from ever working again. Learn all you can about your options to pursue civil justice here in Illinois.