Basic Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents

By | August 29, 2016

The outcomes of truck and car accidents vary largely from one another. There are a number of factors that these accidents differ in. Not only do these two types of accidents differ in impact but also in the ways in which they are handled.

Owing to a number of aspects, truck accidents can be way more complicated and expensive than car accidents.

Let’s take a look at some of the basic differences between truck and car accidents.

Causes of Accidents

Jackknifing is one of the major causes of truck accidents. A semi truck trailing a load behind can get involved in a jackknifing accident causing the trailer to bend into the shape of a jackknife thus causing accidents. This is primarily caused when the front brakes of the truck fail. Jackknifing accident is quite common for trucks which is not the case for cars.

In addition to that, rollover accidents in trucks are caused primarily due to improper distribution of cargo. Sometimes, cargo that has not been secured properly in the trailer of semi-trucks may spill on the road, thus causing accidents.

Air brakes, which are primarily used in trucks, can only take so much heat before they fail. Such brake failure can cause major accidents. The impacts of such accidents are greater than that of car accidents.

Owing to the large size and weight of trucks, it takes longer for a truck to stop than a car. Therefore, the braking distance is more for a truck than a car. Other factors of dissimilarity between truck and car accidents include acceleration, turning radius etc. Due to these factors, trucks face various maneuverability issues.


Trucks primarily haul cargo over long distances which is usually not the case with cars. Cars are passenger vehicles. The cargo transported by the trucks may comprise hazardous or flammable materials. Some of these materials may be liquids as well and these have a high chance of spilling. Therefore, it becomes a major concern for safety.

Cargo may shift inside the trailer in response to road conditions. If any hazardous material is exposed during an accident, it may result in fire and explosion. Chemicals being transported can be toxic as well, thus exposing the victims to danger.


The major differences between a truck and a car accident are the injuries sustained by the victims. While a car weighs approximately 3000 pounds, the weight of a truck is around 80,000 pounds which is more than 26 times the weight of a car. As a result, the injuries that the victims suffer are more extensive in the case of a truck than a car accident.

Some of the injuries may have long-lasting effects. The injuries sustained may include broken bones, brain and spinal cord injuries, abdominal injuries, amputations etc. Owing to the severity of the injuries, truckers carry insurance with liability limits greater than the usual.

Compensation for the Damages Incurred

Truck accidents are way more severe than car accidents. Therefore, the damages incurred by the victims of truck accidents are required to be compensated enough so that they are put back in the position that they were in before the occurrence of the accident both, physically and financially.

For example, the truck companies are required to compensate for the medical care that the victims need to receive, costs of nursing home, rehabilitation etc. In addition to that, victims of truck accidents are also compensated for the loss of earning, emotional suffering, inconvenience etc.

If you live in Houston and have been a victim of a truck accident, you can consider getting in touch with competent Houston 18 wheeler accident lawyer to choose the one best suited to your requirement.


Liability involving truck accidents is more complicated than that of car accidents. The truck driver may not be the only person at fault in the event of an accident. The manufacturer as well as the trucking company may be at fault.


In the case of a car accident, the drivers exchange their information and report the incident to the police. However, the procedure involved in a truck accident is more lengthy. Securing evidence in the event of a truck accident is crucial. The victim needs to collect black box data to learn more about the causes of the accident and determine who is at fault.

Truck accidents are way more complex than car accidents. However, certain factors like negligence may be common for both types of accidents.

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