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California Truck Accidents


MICHAEL REHM - (800) 978-0754


Some of the nation's busiest transportation hubs are located at California's ports, as well as its coastal and inland airports. More imported good enter the United States through California than any other state.

Imported goods, as well as products manufactured in California, are usually transported to other destinations by truck. Measured by weight, more than 80% of goods imported into California are shipped out by truck. Rail, air freight, and pipelines make up most of the remaining means of transportation.

California Truck Accident Statistics

California leads all states except Texas in large truck accident injuries and fatalities. California accounts for 8% of all large truck accident fatalities in the United States.

In 2019, California collisions involving a large truck claimed 485 lives. Another 6,250 victims were injured in California large truck accidents. A large majority of the accident victims were occupants of passenger cars. Other victims included motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

California counties with the highest number of large truck accident fatalities in 2019 were:


  Truck Accident Fatalities - 2019


Los Angeles


San Bernardino






San Diego


While most truck accidents occur in high population transportation hubs, Tehama County had 7 large truck accident fatalities in 2019. Relative to its size, and in light of the increasing number of truck accidents in the county each year, Tehama County has one of the highest per capita rates of large truck accidents in California.

Large Trucks in California

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies a “large truck” as any truck with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds. Large trucks include “heavy trucks,” those weighing 26,000 or more pounds when loaded.

Heavy trucks include tractor-trailers, popularly known as semis or eighteen-wheelers. Other heavy trucks include dump trucks, garbage trucks, and cement mixers.

In California, about 7.7% of all fatal traffic accidents involve large trucks. About 75% of large truck accidents that result in fatal injuries are classified as heavy trucks.

Most large truck accidents occur outside of urban areas. About a quarter of large truck accidents take place on interstate highways.

Kinds of California Truck Accidents

Head-on collisions with a passenger vehicle account for most truck accidents that result in injuries. About 58% of fatal accidents and nearly 51% of injury accidents involving trucks were head-on crashes.

Head-on collisions typically occur when a truck crosses a centerline and enters an opposing lane of traffic. The size and weight of heavy trucks can easily overcome the crash protections, including crumple zones and airbags, that are built into passenger vehicles.

About 24% of fatal crashes involving a large truck are rear-end collisions. About 26% of injury accidents with large trucks are rear-end crashes.

Most of the remaining accidents are side-impact (T-bone) collisions. Side-impact collisions usually occur in intersections when a truck driver fails to stop or to yield.

Some truck accidents occur when a truck jackknifes and comes to a halt while blocking lanes of traffic. Drivers who cannot stop in time suffer injuries when they crash into the truck. In some cases, the front end of a passenger vehicle travels under the truck, causing decapitations or other fatal injuries to the car's front-seat occupants.

Causes of California Truck Accidents

Truck drivers lose their commercial driving privileges if they are convicted of driving with a 0.04% or higher blood alcohol level. Only about 2% of truck accidents involve truck drivers who are under the influence of an intoxicant.

The two most frequent causes of truck accidents are distracted driving and driver fatigue. Distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road. Dialing a call on a cellphone and reading texts are increasingly common reasons for distracted driving.

Many trucking companies have installed cameras that record the driver. The system saves recordings when sensors detect a collision. Those recordings can provide valuable evidence to prove that a driver was distracted at the time of the accident.

While federal regulations limit the number of hours a driver can operate a large truck, long hours of driving contribute to fatigue. Limiting driving hours doesn't mean that a driver is sleeping during nondriving hours. Driver fatigue is a substantial cause of truck accidents. In some cases, evidence of a falsified logbook or electronic logs created by the truck's computer can prove that a driver was driving when he should have been resting.

California Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accident injuries tend to be catastrophic. Spinal injuries, brain damage, and death are among the most serious outcomes of a collision with a truck. Truck Accident Lawyer Michael Rehm will perform a free evaluation of any injury claim involving a California truck accident and provide advice about how to protect the victim's rights.

MICHAEL REHM - (800) 978-0754

Southern California Areas Served:

Phone: (619) 787-3456 Areas Served: San Diego, Vista, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, San Marcos, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, El Centro, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Clarita, Glendale, Lancaster, Palmdale, Pomona, Torrance, Pasadena, El Monte, Downey, West Covina, Norwalk, Burbank, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Costa Mesa, Riverside, Corona, Moreno Valley, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Temecula, Bakersfield, Clovis, and everywhere in between.

Bay Area Areas Served

Phone: (831) 431-0986 Areas Served: Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, Salinas, Monterey, Seaside, Carmel, San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, Livermore, Concord, Richmond, Walnut Creek, Antioch, San Rafael, Novato, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Napa, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Fairfield, Vallejo, Vacaville, Dixon, Solano County, San Benito, Daly City, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Redwood City, Belmont, San Carlos, San Bruno, Pleasanton, Union City, San Leandro, Milpitas, Pittsburg, Danville, Rohnert Park and the entire Bay Area.

Northern California Office & Areas Served

333 University Avenue; Suite 200 Sacramento, CA 95825 Phone: (916) 233-7346 Areas Served: Sacramento, Elk Grove, Antelope, Citrus Heights, Carmichael, the friendly confines of Land Park, Folsom, Yolo, Woodland, West Sacramento, Davis, Placerville, South Lake Tahoe, Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Auburn, Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Yuba City, Marysville, Wheatland, Colusa, San Joaquin County, Lodi, Manteca, Stockton, Tracy, Lathrop, Modesto, Turlock, Oakdale, Stanislaus County, Humboldt County, Arcata, Mckinleyville, Fortuna, Eureka, Butte County, Oroville, Paradise, Chico, Mendocino, Ukiah, Colusa, Shasta County, Redding, Calaveras, Yreka, Amador, Jackson, Lassen, Susanville, Plumas County, Quincy, Nevada County, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee, Lakeport, Sonora, Madera, Crescent City, Trinity, and all of Northern California.