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Driving can be a dangerous proposition at any time, but operating a large truck or tractor trailer introduces it’s own set of challenges and risks to time on the road. While large truck drivers are generally more conscientious and safer drivers than their small vehicle counterparts, they still account for roughly five percent of automobile accidents every year nationwide. Some physical features of tractor trailers can provide unique dangers when driving that require special attention for greater safety.

Unlike drivers of traditional smaller passenger vehicles, operating a tractor trailer entails the potential to experience Jack-knifing in certain dangerous situations, where the trailer being pulled by the cab becomes difficult to control and continues on a trajectory that is not intended or directed by the operator. Sudden turns or harsh braking, especially in slippery conditions can result in dangerous and destructive jackknifing, but a driver who experiences a jackknife scenario in certain conditions like slippery roads or attempting to avoid another negligent motorist may not be considered to be at fault in an accident, depending on various contributing factors.

Accidents involving unsuccessful turns are also common to tractor trailers in ways that do not generally affect traditional motorists. A tractor trailer can be quite challenging to turn, and right turns especially can regularly entail the use of two traffic lanes to execute successfully. Unfortunately, even though it may not be a case of negligent driving, some courts have been know to rule turns involving more than one traffic lane that result in a traffic accident as being the fault of the tractor trailer operator.

Driving a large truck or tractor trailer is a challenging occupation, from the long hours to the innate difficulties of operating such a large vehicle. Anyone who is involved in a traffic accident featuring a large truck or tractor trailer may find that experienced, qualified legal representation can help clear up the matter quickly and efficiently while protecting the rights of those affected.

Source: FindLaw, “Truck Accident Overview,” accessed June 24, 2016