If you have ever seen the use of a pocket knife, you might be able to put together how serious jackknifing and other trucking accidents can be. These refer to incidents where a truck that has two separate parts, the trailer and the cab, will fold in on itself at the point where these two parts are connected. The trailer swivel and the cab are linked together and form a 90-degree angle shape. This also resembles the impact or the look of a pocket knife blade that folds into its handle when closed. This is why the term jackknife is used to describe these accidents.

The Risks Involved with Trucking Accidents

Any kind of truck accident has the potential to render devastating injuries as a result of the weight and size of commercial trucks. According to the National Highway System, commercial trucks on the road are able to weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

A jackknife accident on any road in Arizona can cause serious catastrophic injuries. There are several different circumstances that can increase the chances of a truck being involved in a jackknife accident. These include:

  • Although slight curves typically don’t generate problems for the majority of commercial trucks, if the trailer is longer and the angle is steep, then the truck has a higher chance of swinging and causing the truck to fold in on itself.
  • High speeds. Anytime a truck is travelling faster than 55 miles an hour, it becomes very difficult to stop. If a driver slams on the brakes while going faster than 55 miles per hour, the heavy load can swing out of control.
  • Equipment negligence or malfunction. Whether it’s brake failure, driver error, or hydraulic failure, the smallest malfunction in a commercial truck can lead the driver to lose control.
  • Slippery roads and weather conditions. Anytime you have decreased traction with the roads, weight can shift and the trailer and the cab can slide. Considering the heavy weight of these trucks, these can generate significant trucking accidents.

If you have already been injured in a trucking accident, you need to consult with an Arizona personal injury attorney. Doing so may inform you more about your rights to compensation. Trucking accidents can have a significant impact on your future, which is why it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney to determine how a lawsuit could help you recover as effectively as possible.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Jackknifing and Other Trucking Accidents, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.