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Jackknifing and how to prevent it

Truckers in Georgia may want to look over the following tips on how to avoid jackknifing. Jackknifing, where a truck folds in on itself, can occur in one of two ways. The trailer wheels can lose traction after harsh braking, known as trailer jackknifing, or the tractor wheels do the same after the driver suddenly accelerates, known as tractor jackknifing. Both are bad and are usually the result of driver error.

Prevention begins with knowing the warning signs. Truckers should check their mirrors once in a while for trailer swing, especially when hauling light loads. The reason is that light loads put less friction on the road and, thus, make for less traction. Since truck brakes are designed for fully loaded trucks, a light load also raises the risk for over-braking.

Truckers should avoid getting into any situations where hard braking might be necessary. They need to keep a safe distance from other vehicles. When swerving away from obstacles, truckers should not brake at the same time. In addition, they should not simultaneously turn and brake. It's important to take plenty of time to decelerate when approaching a bend or curve.

Jackknifing is also possible when backing an 18-wheeler up. Truckers should place one hand at the bottom of the steering wheel at six o'clock and then simply turn their hand in whichever direction the rig must go.

While jackknifing is behind many truck crashes, it can still be hard for victims of such crashes to prove that truckers were negligent. For any accident claim, victims must have the proper evidence before they can hope to be reimbursed for their medical bills, lost income and other losses. This is where legal representation may be of benefit. A lawyer may handle all negotiations for a settlement or litigate if a reasonable one cannot be agreed upon.

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