Causes & Effects of a Truck Accident in California

Updated: 3 days ago

Know the common cause and effect of a truck accident in California and learn how to avoid it.

A moving commercial truck's weight and dimensions transform it into a powerful force capable of crushing anything in its path, especially when traveling at high speeds. Large commercial vehicle collisions have the potential to be extremely destructive, resulting in fatalities and catastrophic long-term or permanent injuries. The majority of truck accident casualties are occupants of compact passenger vehicles, according to statistics.

Victims that involve in a truck accident may demand special expertise, protection, and assistance from a California Personal Injury Attorney.

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We see trucks everywhere. Trucks are a critical and practical mode of freight transportation in the US. We have used them for so long that they have changed drastically during the previous century and a half. The majority of freight was transported by railroad or on horse-drawn trailers until the late nineteenth century. Then steam-powered vehicles began hauling products, but their existence was brief.

Internal combustion engines underwent tremendous modifications and advancements in design, power, and dependability in the early twentieth century. Because gasoline and diesel-powered trucks were far more powerful and capable of carrying greater weight over longer distances than steam-powered trucks, they swiftly displaced steam engines and established themselves as the unchallenged leader in the freight transportation industry.

Unfortunately, the prevalence of trucks on modern roads and highways has a drawback. Thousands of truck accidents occur every year across the United States, including in Los Angeles. Their prevalence is why it's vital to read about the damages these accidents might cause you; so you know where to go when you need a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney.

Commercial truck or tractor-trailer accidents are notoriously complicated and fiercely defended. Trucking businesses devote a lot of time and effort to fighting these claims, and they go to great lengths to make them as tough as possible. Furthermore, the trucking business is governed by a number of safety rules. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA"), a division of the United States Department of Transportation, regulates the trucking business in the United States. The FMCSA's major purpose is to prevent heavy truck and bus crashes, fatalities, and injuries through a variety of rules, including drug tests, shift hours limits, and medical inspections. Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.


  • A huge truck's weight might range from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds. The overall gross weight of a loaded truck is limited to 80,000 pounds by federal regulation.

  • Typical passenger automobiles weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds.

  • Trucks can have up to 25 times the weight of a typical passenger vehicle.

Braking Distance

  • Stopping a truck takes longer and requires more distance than stopping a passenger vehicle.

  • The brakes on huge 18-wheelers are not the same as those on passenger cars.

  • Hydraulic (liquid-based) brakes are common in automobiles, allowing them to operate almost quickly. Large trucks, on the other hand, have pneumatic (air-based) brakes. Compressed air is pumped into specific air storage tanks by an engine-driven compressor. When the truck driver presses the brake pedal, compressed air must exit the tank and flow to all brake cylinders on all wheels. This causes brake lag, which is the interval between pressing the brake pedal and the brakes actually slowing the truck down.

  • To come to a complete stop, a passenger car weighing around 4,000 pounds going at 65 miles per hour will need roughly 316 feet (i.e., almost the length of one football field).

  • A fully loaded big rig weighing 80,000 pounds and driving at 65 miles per hour will require a stopping distance of 525 feet.

Statistics on Truck Accidents in California

The numbers of truck accidents in the United States are staggering, according to statistical analysis based on research from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA"), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA"), and the California Department of Transportation ("Caltrans" ):

  1. There are over 15 million trucks in the United States.

  2. 18-wheelers (also known as "big rigs," "semi-trucks," "semi-trailers," "trailer trucks," "truck trailers," and other terms) account for over a quarter of all trucks on American highways.

Large Trucks Cause Fatalities and Injuries

  • Every year, more than 140,000 individuals are injured in major truck accidents.

  • Every 16 minutes, someone is killed or injured in a collision involving a large truck.

  • Large truck crashes result in around two fatalities and over 60 injuries for every 100 million miles driven on American roadways.

  • Each year, fatalities in truck accidents cost the US economy more than $20 billion.

  • Over a quarter of all truck accidents result in injuries.

  • In 2008, large vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more were involved in around 11% of fatal crashes. Truck accidents claimed the lives of 677 truck occupants that year.