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Are you in danger from jackknifed trucks?

If you live in northern Kentucky, you know that the roads can get icy and treacherous during the winter months. When sharing the road with 18-wheelers, there is a real danger that these big rigs will jackknife on a slick stretch of highway.

Jackknifing is a very perilous situation for any trucker to find him or herself in. The term refers to the V- or L-shape a jackknifed truck gets in when the trailer and cab move out of sync with one another — like a folded pocket knife.

Semitrucks often jackknife on icy roads because they lose traction or brake improperly. The truck tires skid on the road, and if drivers slam on their brakes, they will lock up. That causes the wheels to lock up as the trailer swings to one side, and the truck jackknifes.

Truckers can avoid jackknifing by using their mirrors to observe their truck's trailer. Is it swaying a little bit? Letting off of the brakes can reduce the swaying motion, just as speeding up a little can help truckers regain control of their big rigs.

Full trailers are less likely to jackknife, as the weight provides additional traction and reduces any swing. It's also vital that truckers have enough room to brake when necessary. Slamming on the brakes on icy roads is a recipe for disaster.

If you wind up worse for wear this winter after colliding with a jackknifed truck on a Kentucky highway, you can be left with permanent, disabling injuries and a mountain of medical bills. Taking civil action by filing a personal injury lawsuit in the Louisville courts is one path to justice for injured parties.

Source: Bay & Bay Transportation News, "How Truck Drivers Can Avoid Jackknifing," accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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