Why Are Truck Accidents Usually Worse Than Car Accidents?

Truck accidents, and more specifically crashes involving tractor-trailers, often result in more serious injuries than car accidents for one simple reason: An 18-wheeler is much bigger and heavier than any car, pickup, van, or SUV. While many passenger cars weigh 2,000-3,000 pounds and SUVs can weigh around 5,000-6,000 pounds, a semi-truck hauling an empty trailer generally weighs around 30,000-35,000 pounds. If the truck is pulling a loaded trailer, it may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. 

This additional weight means that an 18-wheeler in motion has a tremendous amount of energy and momentum which is transferred to any object it hits.  In other words, a truck in motion will hit with significant force when it collides with another vehicle. In addition, trucks have a higher center of gravity compared to a passenger vehicle which can be a factor in causing significant and catastrophic injuries to the people inside a passenger vehicle.