The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at 5:13 AM on Friday, January 15. A passenger vehicle and an 18-wheeler were traveling south on I-475 when deputies believe the semi truck hit the passenger car before jackknifing then sliding off the road.
The deputies believe the car was sitting idle when the tractor-trailer hit the other vehicle. The passenger car driver was taken to The Medical Center, Navicent Health to be treated for minor injuries, but the semi truck operator was pronounced dead at the scene.
County officials say they don’t yet know if the passenger vehicle was inside the emergency lane at the time of the collision and the accident is still under investigation. Officials are also working to notify the victim’s family.
Are jackknives always fatal?
The most common truck accidents are rollovers, unsecured loads, tire blowouts, wide turns, underrides, and jackknives.
Most of these are fairly self-explanatory, but what does a jackknife accident look like?
One of the worst accidents a driver in a semi truck can get into is a jackknife because it often results in a rollover and very little can be done to prevent it. The brakes on the axles lock up and the truck starts to skid over the pavement before, eventually rolling over and causing severe and sometimes fatal injuries like the I-475 accident.
Common causes of jackknife accidents
When it comes to truck accidents, there are several contributing factors that can cause a truck to jackknife.
- Bad weather. You could be the most careful and diligent truck driver in the world and still get into an accident because of bad weather. Rain, snow, fog, ice, and wet leaves have all been known to cause car and truck accidents alike.
- Poor road conditions. There’s not much a truck driver can do to avoid potholes when they’re sharing the road with other drivers, which can cause a tire blowout and lead to an accident. Flooded pavement, oil spills, eroding roads, and construction zones are also common causes for truck accidents.
- Improper training. Without the proper instruction, lack of training can result in a serious truck accident. If truck operators don’t get the proper training to maintain and drive their vehicles, they won’t be able to prevent accidents from happening.
- Vehicle malfunction. Even if truck drivers do have proper training, it doesn’t always prepare them for a vehicle malfunction. The truck can be up-to-date on all its oil changes and tire rotations, but malfunctions like a tire blowout can still occur without warning and cause an accident.
- Overloaded cargo. The maximum weight in the United States for a single semi truck transporting a load of cargo is 80,000 lbs. However, overloading still occurs and causes unnecessary stress on the truck, which leads to accidents.
- Negligent driving. Unfortunately, due to the high demand for truck drivers and strict deadlines, drowsy truck drivers are one of the top causes of negligence. In order to meet deadlines, drivers often go longer than they should before resting. Not only that, speeding, tailgating, and driving under the influence have also been known to cause truck accidents.
What should you do after a truck accident?
Our team at the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson want you to know you’re not alone. In the event of a truck accident, contact one of our truck accident lawyers right away for a free consultation.
With over 50 years of experience on our side and 3 offices located in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins, our lawyers are here to help if you or a loved one have been the victim of a truck accident and are seeking compensation.