A jackknifing accident occurs when a large truck hauling a trailer attempts to brake suddenly or on a slippery surface and the trailer continues forward, pushing the cab of the truck to the side and back along the trailer. This type of accident is rarely fatal for the driver or other parties involved, but it can be frightening and result in personal injury or property damage. If you are a driver and see a jackknife occurring, there are a few things you can do to help yourself avoid a collision and respond to the situation safely.
One way to help avoid being a part of a New York jackknifing accident is to be aware of road conditions and other vehicles around you. In New York, hazardous road conditions due to weather, especially in winter, are all too common. When driving on roads that are slippery due to rain or snow, always reduce your speed accordingly to maintain full control of your vehicle. Also be aware of other drivers and vehicles, especially large trucks, which may have difficulty stopping on wet surfaces or may lose control when braking.
If you do see a large truck begin to jackknife or the trailer starts to sway in heavy winds, be sure to give the vehicle plenty of space ahead of you. You may be tempted to speed up and go past the truck, but doing so on roads that are wet or icy could result in you causing a collision rather than avoiding one. Stay back from the truck, watch to see if the driver maintains or resumes control, and be sure you are a safe distance away just in case it begins to jackknife.
Whether you are involved or not, if you see a jackknifing accident occur with a large truck, reduce your speed or stop as appropriate and move away from the area. If you witness the accident occur, you should pull over to the side of the road, come to a stop, and notify emergency services as appropriate. Make sure you or any of your passengers are not injured if you are involved in the accident directly, and wait for police and other emergency services to arrive at the scene.
If you or someone you know has been injured or suffered property damage due to a jackknifing accident, then be sure to get an experienced NY truck accident lawyer to represent you before talking to any insurance company. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP we understand vehicle accidents and can help protect your rights after any crash. Call us today at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case and find out more about your options.