Have you ever seen a semitruck jackknife on the road? That happens when the cab and trailer wind up going in two directions and look much like a folded pocketknife -- in a V- or L-shape. Jackknifing trucks present real road hazards to the trucks' drivers and others who share the roads with them. Learn how you can be safer on the roads this winter around these big rigs.
Rain, sleet and snow all create deadly conditions where jackknifing can occur. If you are tooling down the highway in inclement weather, check your speed and slow down a bit. Drivers should ensure that they leave plenty of space between them and the big truck ahead to allow time to come to a stop.
Drivers of both passenger vehicles and commercial trucks should make sure to only drive with properly inflated tires where the air pressure in correctly calibrated to meet the manufacturer's specifications. It's also vital to regularly inspect the tread for signs of wear or tear. Getting tires rotated regularly reduces the wear and tear on the treads.
Brakes must also be well-maintained to ensure that motorists can stop quickly in emergencies. Letting them wear down only increases the costs of the repairs.
Drivers who are hauling cargo -- whether it's a big rig hauling a load of iron ore or a college student headed home with all his or her worldly goods during winter break -- must drive accordingly to avoid becoming a highway statistic.
Properly distributing the weight of the payload keeps vehicles on an even keel on the road. If the weight shifts suddenly while driving, pull over to make adjustments.
If you wind up injured in a wreck with a jackknifed truck, learn about all of the legal options you have to get financial compensation from the at-fault driver.
Source: Will Tow, "What jackknifing is and how to prevent it," accessed Oct. 27, 2017