Over 98% of all freight transportation in Nevada is carried by trucks.
Fewer trucks on Las Vegas roads would result in more expensive products and slower delivery times.
Nevada has specific traffic laws regarding the operation of trucks on public roadways. Large trucks in Nevada must comply with all vehicle size, weight, and load regulations before operation. Truck drivers must also obey all laws, including age requirements, health certifications, and insurance.
However, hundreds of innocent people in the Silver State are injured yearly due to truck accidents.
Some of the most common crashes involving large trucks are jackknife accidents.
One out of every 20 commercial truck accidents in the country involves a jackknife.
What Is A Jackknife Accident?
Jackknife accidents are exclusive to involving big trucks, semi-trucks, and tractor-trailers.
Jackknifing refers to when the front cabin and rear trailer of a semi-truck move out of sync from each other because the driver of the truck is forced to slam on the brakes.
A jackknife accident occurs when the cabin and trailer move in opposite directions, forming a V-shaped angle comparable to a closing jackknife. The trailer is connected to the truck’s cabin with a simple hitch. When truck drivers are forced to apply their emergency brakes, the cabin comes to an abrupt stop, but the trailer’s momentum pushes it ahead until it swings around and jackknifes.
When a fully-loaded commercial truck jackknifes, it can end up damaging any number of passenger cars and blocking multiple lanes of traffic.
Causes Of Truck Jackknife Accidents
The most common reasons for jackknifing include:
Sudden Or Improper Braking
Improper braking due to truck driver inexperience or a faulty braking system can cause the truck to skid and jackknife. Slamming on the brakes suddenly can lock up the front tires, but the continued momentum of the back trailer keeps moving it forward.
Braking should only be carried out when the trailer and cabin align.
Long hours of driving without sufficient rest contribute to truck driver fatigue which can cause driving errors.
Jackknife accidents occur when drivers are inattentive or distracted by something inside or outside the truck or fail to observe the situation adequately for some other reason.
Texting, eating, logging work, changing radio stations, and not focusing exclusively on driving can result in a jackknife accident with devastating consequences.
When trucks are traveling at high speeds, it can be difficult for the truck drivers to react to unexpected situations, leading to jackknife accidents.
Due to their sheer size and weight, loaded trucks are difficult to bring to a screeching halt when encountering an obstruction, such as a road barrier, or when stopping at a traffic signal. Truckers on a tight schedule may travel at speeds above the posted speed limit to meet strict delivery deadlines.
Truck drivers are only as good as the trucks they drive. A mechanical failure could result in a jackknife accident. Common types of equipment failures include faulty or poorly maintained brakes; improperly inflated or worn tires; inadequate or missing safety equipment; overall poor maintenance; unbalanced cargo, transmission failure; and part manufacturing defects.
Inclement Weather Or Road Conditions
Road conditions in Las Vegas can play a considerable role in jackknifing accidents. Neglected or improperly maintained roadways can cause jackknifing. Rain, smoke, and fog are all potential hazards that can reduce tire traction. Trucks may slip into other lanes, guardrails, or off the road. Trucks can jackknife and crash into another passenger vehicle or drive into oncoming traffic when attempting to prevent a slide.
An empty trailer is lighter than a loaded one and can more easily result in a jackknife. Driving with an empty trailer, which is also known as deadheading, can lead to reduced traction and a loss of control of the vehicle if attempts to brake suddenly are made.
Pacific West Injury Law – Our Lawyers Know How To Hold Responsible Parties Liable for Your Truck Accident Damages
In Nevada, trucking companies are required to ensure that their drivers conduct pre-trip, in-transit, and post-trip inspections. Additionally, annual inspections must be conducted by a certified inspector. Violating these requirements could make a trucking company liable to compensate an accident victim. Other potentially sensitive parties include the truck’s driver; other motorists on the road who contributed to the accident; the company responsible for loading the cargo; a negligent mechanic or inspector; or a vehicle parts manufacturer.
Experienced Las Vegas truck accident lawyers at Pacific West Injury Law can assist you in determining liability and holding the negligent party liable for damages.
After a truck accident in Las Vegas, the trucking company will try to repair the truck. A truck accident lawyer at Pacific West Injury Law can help you send a spoliation letter to the company to preserve it until a professional examines it. Our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers will investigate the accident, review the trucking company’s policies, and gather relevant insurance company records. They will assess your unique situation to decide which damages are available. The lawyers at our Las Vegas personal injury law firm know the importance of the evidence from the electronic control module (ECM) and other on-board recording devices on the truck that record various driving-related data like video footage of moments leading up to the crash, driver logs, and how long the driver has been driving.
When determining the value of a Las Vegas truck accident claim, our lawyers consider the severity of injuries sustained by the truck accident victims, lost wages, the cost of medical treatment and ongoing care, and other damages.
Working with our personal injury law firm in Las Vegas can help you recover a fair and just settlement during the claims or trial process. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident in Las Vegas, Henderson, or North Las Vegas, and want to know whether you have a valid case, contact a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer at our law firm for your free consultation.