A jackknife occurs when a semi-truck trailer loses control and creates a V-shape or L-shape with the cab. These accidents are common, but do not have to be—proper training and defensive driving can make these incidents avoidable. Also, motorist awareness can reduce the number of tractor trailer jackknifes in Vancouver.
What Causes a Tractor Jackknife?
Typically, these accidents occur when the truck’s wheels lock and the truck hits a slick spot. The trailer continues rolling after the cab stops, forcing the driver to lose control and the trailer swings to one side. When this happens, it takes multiple vehicles out in the process.
Common causes of jackknife incidents include:
· Improper Training: Drivers of semi-trucks need the right skills to prevent an accident and recover when their truck begins to go out of control. Failure to exercise corrective measures is what leads to deadly accidents.
· Improper Loading: When the semi-truck trailer is overloaded or has uneven cargo on one side of the trailer compared to the other, it increases the likelihood that the truck’s trailer will slide off to the side.
· Weather Conditions: Often, the worst accidents occur when the roads are slick, such as after a rainstorm, during a snow episode, or when the roads are icy.
· Other Motorists: When a driver must make a sudden manoeuvre to avoid another vehicle, such as a vehicle that has cut off the semi-truck, the driver may overcorrect and experience a jackknife.
How to Correct and Avoid Jackknife Accidents
This type of accident happens slower than a typical collision or skidding incident, which means drivers do have adequate time to respond. As the driver, you must let off the brakes and lightly touch the throttle. Once the brakes are not engaged, the truck’s tires can regain control and the slight adjustment to the throttle helps you put the trailer behind you.
Sometimes, you may not have enough time to respond. For example, you lose traction in poor weather. If you are not in the position to let off the brake and engage the throttle, your semi-truck will likely jackknife. Experienced drivers say that they can predict it even before the trailer starts moving sideways. A standard engine will begin to rev when the brakes lock; indicating you have a few seconds to react and avoid the unfortunate incident.
Learn How to Avoid Jackknifes by Attending a Driving School in Burnaby serving Langley, Coquitlam, and the Surrounding Areas
To properly handle a jackknife, you should attend a Burnaby truck driving school for commercial driving. North Shore Driving School, Ltd. offers new and experienced drivers the chance to not only get their license, but also learn the essentials to avoid accidents –
including a jackknife.
The Truck Division at North Shore Driving School, Ltd. offers air brake courses, Classes 1 through 4 license training, and defensive skills to keep you safe on the road whether you travel a few miles per day or engage in or long-distance trucking.
Call our Truck Division in Burnaby for lessons by calling 604-299-9292. For residential driver training in North Vancouver, connect with our Car Division by calling 604-988-1138. You can also contact a representative online with questions regarding what
driving course is right for you.