Pierce & Shows, APLC

Biggest differences between car and semi-truck accidents

Car accidents occur often and a lot of the time the individuals involved walk away either unscathed or with injuries that will heal. Why is it that when individuals are involved in semi-truck accidents, many do not walk away and if they do, it is with a lasting injury? What makes semi-truck accidents different from typical car accidents?


Risk of catastrophic injury or fatality

Compared to what one may think of as a normal car accident (one car hits another car), semi-truck accidents have a much higher rate of injury and fatality. According to the American Trucking Association, 1 percent of truck crashes end in fatality, compared to .05 percent of car crashes that end in fatality. This is interesting to note, as even though there are many more car-car crashes that occur, truck-car accidents have the higher fatality rate.

If one is not killed in the crash, catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are all too common and can result in life-long disability. One can attribute this elevated injury and fatality rate to a single factor: the size and weight of a semi. Large trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while a normal sedan weighs between 3- and 4,000 pounds. The sheer weight of a large truck has the power to do serious damage to anything it collides with.

Accident type

Another factor that sets semi-truck accidents apart from car accidents is the type of crash that occurs. The most common type of car-on-car crashes are rear-end and t-bone collisions. When someone rear-ends another car, the fatality rate is often low. However, due to semi-trucks inability to stop as quickly as a regular car, when a large truck rear-ends a car, the results can be disastrous.

Getting into an accident with a semi-truck can be scary, but knowing what sets semi-truck accidents and regular car accidents apart can help you avoid an unwanted crash.

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