Drivers of large trucks in California have likely either had a jackknife scare before themselves or have known someone else in the fleet who has a story to tell about jackknifing. This dangerous and scary accident involves a truck’s load swinging out and making an L shape, and it can be dangerous to the driver and other vehicles on the road. So can it be avoided?
There are many different tips and tricks out there that supposedly help drivers cut down on their chances of jackknifing. How Stuff Works, for example, states that a driver can act quickly once they feel their truck beginning to jackknife and still straighten their truck out. This can be done by releasing the brakes and allowing the wheels to regain traction as the steering wheel rights itself. In certain situations, adding speed may help to expedite this process. In others, speed may have caused the jackknifing and it’s recommended that drivers not apply more until the trailer has straightened back out.
Meanwhile, Bay and Bay, a trucking company, has a guide for its workers that highlights what to do and what not to do to prevent jackknifing. This includes going easy on the brakes, leaving plenty of room between cars to allow for slow braking, and keeping a close eye on the mirrors to ensure that the trailer isn’t swinging. Keeping the trailer full when possible also increases the traction of the vehicle, which can lower a driver’s chances of experiencing a jackknife.
Keeping these tips in mind while on the road can allow drivers to avoid jackknifing. If it isn’t avoided, they can safely maneuver their way out of it before it gets too bad, saving themselves and other drivers on the road.