Postal Service Tractor Trailer Jackknifes on I-95 in Philadelphia

May 17th, 2016

A United States Postal Service 18-wheeler recently jackknifed on Interstate 95 in Northeast Philadelphia near the Academy Road exit. No one was injured in the accident, but such crashes serve as a stark reminder of just how dangerous jackknife tractor trailer accidents can be for motorists.

Traffic was backed up on the Delaware Expressway for more than five hours during the morning, rush hour commute due to the big rig accident on the northbound side of the highway, according to multiple news outlets, including NBC 10 in Philadelphia.

The accident resulted in a fuel spill which crews spent hours cleaning up while traffic was limited to one lane – on a stretch of highway which has four lanes in each direction. The cause of the accident remains unknown.

What is a jackknife truck accident and why do they happen?

Jackknife tractor-trailer accidents involve the trailer of an 18-wheeler truck folding back into itself. As a result, the cab and the trailer of the truck form an angle (often 90 degrees or less) that gets smaller during the crash.

A nationwide, government study of such accidents found that the odds of a jackknife accident increase as the truck gets longer. The same study conducted by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis also found that the likelihood of a jackknife truck accident decreases as the weight of the truck increases.

Other reasons why jackknife truck accidents occur include weather conditions (icy, wet roads can be a contributing factor), the truck’s speed (faster trucks often veer out of control) and the driver’s level of experience. In particular, inexperienced drivers sometimes misjudge corners and cause the truck to jackknife.

Why are jackknife truck accidents so dangerous and complicated?

Other drivers may have little time to react since jackknife accidents tend to happen very quickly, without warning. Such accidents are especially dangerous because smaller cars can get trapped and crushed in the V-shaped angle formed between the truck’s trailer and its cab.

People injured in jackknife accidents can sustain some of the most severe truck accident injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and paralysis. These injuries often prove fatal.

And worst of all, many families affected by such accidents often have a hard time obtaining the compensation they deserve for themselves or a loved one injured or killed. That’s because many trucking companies and their insurance companies do everything they can to reduce or deny such claims for compensation. That’s why we strongly urge you to contact Flager & Associates today if you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer accident.

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