The Mount Airy News reported on August 11, 2014 that a tractor-trailer jackknifed on US 52 in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. The truck hydroplaned when it was raining causing it to collide with a guide rail. The accident stopped traffic for over an hour. The rain is problematic for most drivers. For truck drivers it can be especially dangerous because when a truck turns over it can lose its cargo which can spill into the road and cause additional accidents. Hydroplaning occurs when it’s raining or it’s just rained. Trucks are especially susceptible to jackknifing in such conditions.
Skidding and Hydroplaning: Hydroplaning occurs during a heavy rain because the water in front of the car increases faster than the car can push it away. This causes the truck (or automobile) to then rise and slide on the water. Some ways to avoid skidding and hydroplaning or lessen the impact are to drive slower in the rain, brake lightly and keep a mild pressure, and go especially slow into curves. When skidding, steer the vehicle in the way/direction you want the vehicle to go which means you will need to constantly turn the wheel. Unless the vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, braking should be avoided. Keep your vehicle’s tires at the proper inflation level. Make sure the tires have the proper tread level.
Jackknifing: Jackknifing occurs in vehicles with a pivoting joint. The joint allows the vehicle to turn more sharply. Common examples of vehicles with pivoting points are tractor-trailers, buses, and trains. Sometimes, though, the pivoting joint can cause problems resulting in the tractor getting out of sync with the trailer. The tractor-trailer will then look L-shaped or V-shaped instead of I-shaped. The truck-trailer essentially operates like a pocket knife, thus the name. Loss of traction, such as happens in the rain, is a major cause of jackknifing. Driving at lower speeds and proper treads do help. Slamming on the brakes can hurt because it can force the wheels to lock.
Attorney Joe Miller at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., knows that truck accidents are different than car accidents. There are different reasons why the accidents happen, different ways the accidents could have been avoided and different damages when a truck accident happens. Because cars and motorcycles are no match for trucks, the occupants of the smaller vehicles often suffer permanent injuries or even death. Joe Miller will fight on behalf of victims and will bring wrongful death claims on behalf of families of deceased victims. He’s been trying cases in North Carolina and in Virginia for over 25 years, so contact him today by calling (888) 694-1671.