Most types of motor vehicle collisions are fairly straightforward. Driver inattention, excessive speed, and alcohol are frequently associated with a large portion of all auto accidents in the U.S. But jackknife accidents and rollover crashes of tractor trailers are a bit more complex in how they are caused.
Variables in Jackknife and Rollover Truck Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has discovered that several variables alter the likelihood of a truck jackknifing or rolling over. These variables can actually be entered into a formula to determine how much they affect the chances of these accidents occurring.
When researchers analyzed a 4-year period of jackknife and rollover truck accidents, here's what they discovered:
- On curved roads, a truck is 6 times more likely to roll over and 86% more likely to jackknife than on a straight road.
- In inclement weather, a truck is about 3 times more likely to roll over or jackknife than in good weather.
- In poor lighting conditions, a truck is 12% more likely to roll over and 43% more likely to jackknife than in good lighting conditions.
- A 10 mph jump in the speed limit raises the odds of a rollover accident by 172% and of a jackknife accident by 49%.
- A 10% increase in truck weight raises the odds of a rollover accident by 23% but reduces the odds of a jackknife accident by 2%.
- A 10% increase in truck length reduces the odds of a rollover accident by 10% but raises the odds of a jackknife accident by 14%.
For more information on truck jackknife and rollover accidents, read our article on Common Types of Fatal Truck Accidents.