Any motor vehicle collision is something you want to avoid, but some of them are objectively or worse than others. Crashes that occur on the interstate are much more dangerous than low-speed parking lot collisions.
A collision with a garbage truck or an 18-wheeler will be far more dangerous than a collision with a compact model passenger vehicle.
What makes commercial crashes so different from other wrecks?
The gap in size and weight
A wreck between vehicles of significantly different can also be far more dangerous for the people in the small vehicle than a crash between two vehicles of similar size. The discrepancy between their overall size and weight and the average motor vehicle is part of what makes a collision with a commercial truck so dangerous.
These huge vehicles can cause absolute destruction to smaller vehicles and life-altering or fatal injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. Based on 2019 data, the most recent year with information available, 82% of the time, it will be the people in the smaller vehicle who die in large truck collisions. Only 18% of the fatalities that occur in these wrecks involve the occupants of the commercial vehicle.
Smaller mistakes can cause them
The bigger size of commercial trucks makes them harder to maneuver, and they need more space than smaller vehicles, a fact that some drivers forget. Issues that people could correct for in a small vehicle, like someone cutting them off, could cause a commercial wreck.
Insurance may be different
There is mandatory insurance coverage required for all registered vehicles, but commercial trucks often have much larger policies because of how much damage they can cause. The good news is that there is more compensation potentially available to those affected by commercial crashes, but the bigger policy likely means a more aggressive attempt to defend against claims by the insurance company too.
Liability is sometimes different
When a crash occurs between two passenger vehicles, usually fault is clearly assigned to one driver or the other. Even if it is a vehicle issue that causes the crash, the owner who didn’t maintain their vehicle property is probably responsible.
Given that commercial drivers are often employees, the company that hired them may have liability for a crash caused by maintenance issues. A client could be responsible if an improperly loaded trailer is what caused the crash.
Understanding how commercial crashes differ from other collisions can help those who need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.