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What Fort Pierce Should Know about JackKnife Truck Accidents


Approximately 2 million motorists travel on Florida’s Turnpike each day. Although some of the motorists use the turnpike to reach various destinations around Florida, commercial vehicles such as trucks use this same 500 mile stretch of tolls to transport goods. Many of the trucks travel through the Fort Pierce community.  Because the Sunshine State has a large number of truck accidents, Sholtes Law is informing the Fort Pierce community of some things to keep in mind about jackknife truck accidents.

What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

Jackknife is a term used to describe an incident when a truck and its trailer swivel towards and fold inward and each other to form a V shape.

Since the Federal Highway Administration’s Commercial Vehicle Size and Weight Program allows a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds for commercial vehicles, a jackknife accident can occur at any time, even in good weather. However, jackknife accidents, much like car accidents, happen more often in bad weather when roads are slick and icy.

Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents

In addition to the weather and road conditions, there are other causes of jackknife truck accidents including:

  • High speeds
  • Land elevation, like hills and mountains
  • Curves
  • Truck overload
  • Equipment malfunctions such as brake failure
  • Driver error or negligence, distracted driving for example

Unfortunately, jackknife accidents are not always preventable. But there are techniques truck drives can use to prevent them. One of the techniques is to take the foot off the brake and gas. Part 380 recommends tractor trailer drivers to feather the clutch to avoid a jackknife truck accident. Skills and training also contribute to the prevention of jackknife truck accidents.

When a truck jackknifes, it can result in a truck accident with serious personal injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, loss of limbs, and possibly death.

If you were involved in a jackknife truck accident, contact our Fort Pierce truck accident lawyer serving St. Lucie & Martin County immediately. Time is of the essence and the issue could involve a number of parties besides yourself and the truck driver.

Who is Responsible for Jackknife Truck Accident?

Many times, a jackknife truck accident is due to the driver’s negligence. Depending on the circumstances, any of these parties could be held responsible:

  • The truck manufacturer
  • The owner of the truck
  • The truck driver
  • The loader or shipper
  • The trucking company

With the help of a knowledgeable jackknife truck accident lawyer, determining liability will be easier once the attorney has had a chance to investigate all relevant evidence.

And, your attorney will be ready to counter the defense attorney’s argument — that the reasoning for the jackknife is due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Keep in mind, the defense will do anything to avoid being held responsible.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

If you’re attempting to handle a jackknife trucking accident alone, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. Andrew Sholtes is a knowledgeable Fort Pierce truck accident attorney serving St. Lucie and Martin County working hard to recover the maximum compensation for jackknife truck accident victims. Call Sholtes Law, PLLC at 855-534-2509 for a complimentary case analysis.


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Phone: 855-534-2509 / Fax: 754-220-9939
309 Orange Avenue Fort Pierce, FL 34950
55 SE Osceola St Suite 204, Stuart, FL 34994
1120 S Parrott Ave, Okeechobee, FL 34974

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