Accidents involving semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are dangerous because of their size and the extent of damage it can cause on the road and on other vehicles. The dangerous situation called “jackknifing” happens when semis and 18-wheelers skid, causing the trailer to swing out and form a 90-degree angle with the truck, very much resembling what a folding pocketknife looks like. When this happens while the truck was going at high speed, the truck is most likely to roll over and lose control.
Jackknifing is the result of the truck getting stuck in a spot on the road or suddenly stopping, and the trailer continues to move until it stops at an angle relative to the truck. This is usually caused by slippery roads and swerving. Losing traction on the road will cause the wheels of the truck to skid and slide. This also causes the weight being carried to shift around.
Jackknifing also occurs when the driver turns a curve at a high speed, causing the tires to lose traction and the driver to lose control. Driving at high speed is dangerous for any vehicle. But imagine a truck carrying 80,000 pounds attempting to suddenly stop from driving at a high speed. The truck driver would have to fight to keep the truck from flipping or damaging property and lives.
Equipment malfunction is also a major cause of jackknifing. Any negligence by the truck driver or the truck company in the maintenance of the truck could cause brake failure or hydraulic failure which lead to accidents.