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What is the “crack the whip” effect?


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The “crack-the-whip” effect is a dangerous situation that can happen when operating trucks with attached trailers. 

The crack-the-whip effect occurs when you make quick lane changes. 

The result can make your trailer turn over and flip. 

The crack-the-whip effect is caused by rearward amplification, which can increase with trailer size and the number of trailers you tow. 

To prevent the crack-the-whip effect and avoid trailer rollovers, steer gently and smoothly whenever you are pulling trailers. 

Any sudden movements can trigger the effect and cause you trailers to tip. 

What is it best to do when approaching a curve?

It is important to adjust your speed properly when approaching a curve. 

Slow down before you enter a curve to enter it at a safe speed. Braking inside a curve can be dangerous and cause your wheels to lock. You should also enter the curve in a gear that will allow you to accelerate in the curve if needed to maintain control. 

Taking a curve too fast:

  • Can cause your tires to lose traction and make your skid off the road.


  • Cause your truck to rollover.

You can find more information about this topic in the Combination Vehicles (6) and Driving Safely (2) section of your official driver’s handbook. 

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