CALL US TOLL FREE 225-224-2222 We are offering virtual meetings by request.

Common causes of jackknifing collisions

Table of Contents

Trucks deliver goods across the state of California and beyond. For the most part, this happens without incident. Unfortunately, there are occasions when collisions occur, and it is generally the smaller vehicle that comes off worst.

One of the most notable types of trucking accidents is jackknifing collisions. These occur when the trailer’s weight makes the vehicle veer off course. The consequences of such accidents can be devastating.

There are numerous ways in which a crash like this can occur. Outlined below are some of the more common causes.

Heavy braking

All drivers face multiple hazards on any journey. Fortunately, training and experience teach road users how to deal with most of these almost automatically. Nonetheless, there are occasions where emergency stops will need to be performed. For trucks, this is much more complicated as they are larger and tend to be carrying heavy loads in the trailer. Sharp braking could result in the trailer starting to swing in the direction of the cab, resulting in a jackknifing collision.


In California, both trucking companies and vehicle operators have a legal responsibility to ensure that they adhere to the laws on maximum weights. Mandatory maximum weight levels are in place for a reason, largely to prevent accidents. An overloaded trailer can very easily become a trailer that starts to swing out of control, causing a potentially fatal accident. It’s also worth noting that trailers without a load can be dangerous because the driver may not be used to operating the vehicle under these circumstances.

If you have been injured during a truck collision, you will likely need some time off to recover. This can take its toll financially, and there are provisions in place for you to seek legal compensation. Obtaining some guidance on the matter will give you a better idea of your options.