Early last week, on a rainy Wednesday morning, police and emergency personnel responded to a big rig accident on US-301 near Croom Road in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. A tractor trailer carrying an empty fuel oil tank, lost control, jack knifed, and careened off the road, seriously injuring the driver. As a result of the truck accident, the truck’s fuel tank burst and spilled nearly 150 gallons of diesel fuel across Route 301.
Accidents involving jack knifed tractor trailers pose a serious threat to other drivers on highways in Maryland. Jackknifing means the accidental folding of a tractor trailer so that it resembles an “L” or a “V”. If a commercial truck towing a trailer skids, the trailer can push the cab forward from behind until it spins out of control. Eighteen wheelers have a higher chance of jackknifing while hauling empty trailers. Jackknifing is typically caused by improper breaking, mechanical failures, or poor road conditions.
In an earlier post, we talked about the black boxes present in many modern tractor trailers. Maryland truck accident attorneys use these data recorders when a truck jackknifes to determine whether the sudden breaking or acceleration may have caused an accident.