In traveling our roads and highways you will undoubtedly find yourself sharing the road with the massive tractor-trailer trucks that may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The Colorado Motor Carriers Association (CMCA) is an organization that represents the state's trucking industry. Some of the core functions they address are economic issues, regulatory compliance and the education and promotion of truck safety in Colorado. The CMCA reports that an estimated 5% of the state's jobs, which equates to nearly 100,000 employees, are the result of the trucking industry. The state is home to over 12,000 truck companies and at least 79% of all goods are moved exclusively by these vehicles.
There is a dangerous situation that can occur with these large vehicles, which is known as “jackknifing”. Certain factors can cause the trailer to swing out to one side forming an angle in a different direction from the tractor (cab) of the truck; in this position it is possible that the vehicle will fall over. The term jackknifing stems from its appearance being similar to that of an acute angle of an opened pocket knife. Some of the reasons that a truck may be forced into this highly dangerous position are:
- Slick or icy road conditions: These conditions can result in the truck losing traction on the road which can create a sudden shift in weight causing the trailer to jackknife.
- Excessive speed: Particularly when these trucks are loaded with freight, the vehicle's braking distance and maneuverability are compromised. One situation where a truck could jackknife is when traveling at a high rate of speed and is suddenly approaching a vehicle or object in its path that the driver attempts to avoid.
- When encountering bends or curves in the roadway: Vehicles of this size require extra caution when approaching changes in direction since they lack the responsiveness of smaller vehicles. One scenario is if a driver operating a truck is unfamiliar with the roadway and underestimates the extent of the bend or curve in the road, they may find themselves without adequate distance to reduce their speed.
- Mechanical Failure: These vehicles are composed of a variety of mechanical parts and systems that require regular inspection, service, maintenance and replacement. It is possible that operators of the vehicle are not adhering to the proper service interval requirements, or that a key component is improperly installed, or has a manufacturer defect.
If you or a loved one has been severely injured in an accident involving a truck, you may be faced with life-altering results. In this situation, it is best that you seek the expertise of The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal. We have vast experience in pursuing justice in commercial vehicle liability-related cases in Colorado. We remain dedicated to getting you the justice that you deserve in these situations where you may be find yourself confused or vulnerable as a result of the accident.