The sheer size and power of trucks make them indispensable for transportation and trade, but they can also pose significant dangers on the roads. In California, with its bustling highways and intense flow of commerce, truck accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence. California truck accident statistics make it evident that understanding the causes, impacts, and consequences of these accidents is crucial for everyone, from daily commuters to policymakers.

Moreover, for those directly affected by such incidents, seeking legal assistance becomes paramount. Our esteemed personal injury law firm in California, JG Winter Law, is dedicated to providing robust representation for truck accident victims. Comprehending the gravity of these truck accident statistics in California, our personal injury lawyers safeguard the rights of our clients and help them receive the compensation they deserve.


Truck Accidents in California

California, with its interconnected network of highways and byways, witness a significant amount of daily truck traffic. Given its pivotal role as a hub of trade and commerce, trucks of all sizes traverse its roads, delivering goods from one corner to another. However, this heavy flow also means that the state sees its fair share of truck accidents.

Delving into the California truck accident statistics, one notices an alarming trend. These accidents, often more catastrophic than regular car crashes due to the sheer size and momentum of trucks, lead to devastating consequences.

From overturned semis on I-5 to collisions on routes like PCH, the reasons behind these accidents are manifold. Recognizing these causes and the different types of accidents can pave the way for preventive measures and inform individuals on the necessary steps to take post-accident.


Common Causes

With truck accidents in CA being a significant concern, understanding their root causes is essential. These causes provide insight into how accidents can be prevented and how potential victims can stay vigilant on the roads. While many factors can lead to these tragic incidents, a few stand out in California trucking accident statistics as the most frequent culprits.


  • Drunk Driving: 6.7% of large truck accidents are attributed to drunk driving or driver intoxication. While commercial drivers are held to stricter BAC limits, there are still instances where truck drivers drive under the influence, leading to accidents.
  • Bad Weather Conditions: 13% of large truck accidents occur due to adverse weather conditions. It includes reduced visibility from snow and rain, and control issues on slick roads. Surprisingly, the majority of these accidents (78.3%) happen during dry weather, suggesting more trucks are on the road during good conditions, but might exercise less caution.
  • Daytime Driving: A significant 79.6% of large truck accidents happen during the daytime. It’s because drivers prefer daytime operation and federal regulations mandate certain rest breaks. More trucks on the road during these hours increase the probability of accidents.
  • Speeding: Speeding is a leading cause, contributing to 7.3% of fatal truck accidents. Even with specific speed limits for larger vehicles, many truck drivers exceed these limits, which can lead to deadly outcomes due to the trucks’ size and longer stopping distance.
  • Driver Impairment and Inattention: Truck drivers, given their long hours, are more prone to distraction. Impairment and inattention, including fatigue, cell phone use, and eating while driving, are the second leading driver-related causes of fatal accidents, each responsible for 5.2% of fatal truck accidents.


Types of Truck Accidents

Truck accident statistics reveal varied types of accidents, each with its unique implications. Awareness of these types can help in understanding the dynamics and potential aftermath of such mishaps.


  • Jackknife Accidents: It occurs when the truck’s trailer folds in a way that it resembles a pocket knife. It’s commonly caused by abrupt braking or slippery roads.
  • Rollovers: High centers of gravity in trucks make them susceptible to rollovers, especially during sharp turns or when the cargo shifts.
  • Underride Accidents: One of the deadliest, this happens when a smaller vehicle goes under the rear or side of the truck, often leading to catastrophic injuries.
  • T-Bone Collisions: This type of truck accident happens when a truck hits the side of another vehicle, usually at intersections.
  • Rear-end Collisions: Occurs when a truck crashes into the vehicle in front, often due to distracted driving or brake failures. Given the truck’s weight, these can be severely damaging.


Truck Accidents Statistics By Vehicle Types

When diving into trucking accident statistics in California, it becomes evident that the type of vehicle involved plays a significant role in the dynamics of the accident. Different vehicles present unique challenges and risks on the road, and understanding these differences is crucial for both prevention and legal considerations.


  • Passenger Cars: When it comes to large truck accidents, the passenger car is the most common other vehicle. 21.5% of large truck accidents had a passenger car as the other party involved.
  • Light Trucks: Not far behind passenger cars, light trucks are involved in 21.2% of all large truck accidents. It demonstrates that larger vehicles, in general, are more susceptible to collisions with other sizable vehicles on the road.
  • Single-Vehicle Accidents: A concerning statistic reveals that when fatalities occur among truck occupants, they most commonly result from single-vehicle accidents. In 2021, such crashes accounted for 58% of all deaths involving large trucks.
  • Motorcycles: Motorcycles, despite their smaller size and skill, still face significant risks on the road. They were involved in 3.2% of all large truck accidents in 2020. This translated to a total of 293 collisions between motorcycles and large trucks during that year.


Impacts of California Truck Accidents

Truck accidents in California often leave a trail of destruction in their wake, with repercussions extending beyond immediate physical harm. The immense size and weight of these vehicles make their collisions particularly devastating. The impacts are manifold and profound, from damage to property to long-lasting health implications and the grim reality of fatalities. Victims must comprehend these outcomes as they influence their healing process and decisions about seeking legal assistance.



When a semi-truck accident in California occurs, the resulting damages are extensive. These damages aren’t just confined to vehicular destruction but span a broad spectrum:


  • In 2020, nearly 5,000 people lost their lives in big truck accidents across the U.S.
  • California had the second-highest number of deaths from big truck accidents in 2020.
  • 2019 saw 4,119 deaths from big truck accidents in the U.S.
  • California reported the highest number of people who weren’t in trucks dying in large truck accidents in 2020.



Injuries from truck collisions can range from minor bruises to life-altering conditions. Below are some statistics on the injuries the victims sustain in truck accidents.


  • Each year, around 3,000 truck accidents in California lead to injuries.
  • In 2019, car passengers made up about 67% of those involved in big truck accidents.
  • Those in smaller vehicles like cars, SUVs, pickups, and motorcycles often had the most severe injuries.



Tuck accidents in California often result in fatalities. The sheer size of these vehicles, coupled with high speeds, lowers the survival chances in certain situations. Families suffer more with the sudden loss of a loved one, an immeasurable void. Such incidents underscore the necessity of stringent safety measures and the importance of a truck accident lawyer in California to navigate the aftermath.


  • On average, California sees around 113 deadly truck accidents annually.
  • In 2021, 437 people died in California due to big truck accidents.
  • In the same year, Texas reported the highest number of truck accident deaths, with 806 fatalities.


Truck Accident Lawyers at JG Winter Law – 99% Client Win Rate

The aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming. With medical bills piling up and potential lost wages, victims often find themselves in financial and emotional distress. JG Winter Law understands the complexities of such situations. With a remarkable 99% client win rate, our experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyers are committed to advocating for your rights and helping you secure the compensation you deserve. We have a proven track record of providing clients with unparalleled legal support during such challenging times. Whether your accident was due to a driver’s negligence or a vehicle malfunction, we delve deep into every case, ensuring no detail is overlooked.


Know The Safety Laws and Regulations

Safety regulations and laws are implemented to mitigate the risks associated with truck accidents in California. These rules are designed to protect both truck drivers and the general public. Understanding these laws is crucial for every road user. Below are three major organizations that are pivotal in ensuring road safety.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a key entity responsible for ensuring the safety of all road users across the U.S. This body establishes and enforces vehicle performance standards and regulations to ensure the safety of vehicles, including trucks. They also conduct extensive research on traffic safety and spread awareness on safe road use to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent organization focused on reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage caused by motor vehicle crashes. Through rigorous testing and research, the IIHS offers valuable insights into vehicle safety, promoting advancements in design and stricter safety standards. They often highlight key vulnerabilities in vehicle design and push manufacturers towards more robust safety features.


The California Office of Traffic Safety

Specifically focused on California roads, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) plays a pivotal role in promoting traffic safety within the state. Working with local and state agencies, OTS funds programs to reduce traffic accidents. They conduct public awareness campaigns, promote the use of seat belts, and provide grants for programs that aim to reduce drunk driving and increase pedestrian and cyclist safety.



Navigating the roads alongside large trucks can often be daunting, especially given California truck accident statistics. As the data suggests, while there are numerous safety measures and regulations in place, accidents remain a reality. However, with heightened awareness, strict adherence to the rules, and continual improvements in vehicle safety, we can hope for a safer tomorrow on our roads. Knowledge and preparation are your best allies in avoiding truck accidents.

For those unfortunate enough to have been involved in a truck accident in California, getting the proper legal representation is necessary. J. G. Winter Law specializes in truck accident cases, offering unparalleled expertise. Contact us today, and let us guide and advocate for you during such challenging times.