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California is home to an incredibly busy road network, and each driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely and abide by the traffic laws. Unfortunately, trucking accidents can and do happen every day throughout California, and those involving trucks tend to be the most destructive.

All drivers should know the types of trucks capable of causing the most severe accidents. Keep in mind, too, that not all collision types are the same.


The largest vehicles on the road are tractor-trailers, commonly called big rigs. These large commercial vehicles transport goods throughout California, and many communities depend on truck shipping for the essential items they need every day. These vehicles are several times larger and heavier than even the largest passenger vehicles, meaning they lack the maneuverability and stopping ability of cars.

Truck drivers who operate large commercial tractor-trailers must possess appropriate licenses and complete specialized job training to ensure they can handle these vehicles safely. All truck drivers in the United States must also adhere to several regulations specific to the trucking industry, such as required rest breaks and limits on daily driving time. Tractor-trailer accidents can happen due to driver error, a failure on the part of the trucking company responsible for the truck driver’s training, or a third party.

Delivery Trucks

Shipping companies, including the United States Postal Service, UPS, DHL, Amazon, and FedEx, rely on fleets of large delivery vehicles. These organizations operate nationally using networks of distribution centers across the country, and these hubs coordinate delivery routes for their drivers. Similar to tractor-trailer drivers, commercial delivery truck drivers must possess the appropriate licenses and credentials to operate these large vehicles. Because they drive as their primary job responsibility, they have a higher duty of care than other drivers to prevent accidents.

Waste Disposal Vehicles

Large waste disposal vehicles such as dump trucks, garbage trucks, and recycling collection trucks are also common throughout California and provide valuable waste removal services. Garbage trucks typically operate on set routes through mostly residential areas, and dump trucks are common sights around construction sites. While garbage trucks tend to drive at lower speeds while they complete their collection routes, this does not mean they are not capable of causing serious accidents in residential areas. Dump trucks and other large waste collection vehicles are also prone to balancing issues when their haulage loads are unevenly distributed, making them vulnerable to tip-over and rollover accidents.

Tanker Trucks

Large trucks are also a primary transportation option for liquid cargo. Tanker trucks that carry gasoline or oil typically carry large cylindrical tanks, and when these vehicles are involved in accidents, the damage can be devastating. Tanker trucks that crash or roll over will easily leak their liquid cargo. Depending on the tank trailer’s contents, this could lead to a gas or oil spill that could ignite and cause explosive damage to the surrounding area. Some tanker truck crashes may also lead to serious health or environmental hazards.

Emergency Vehicles

Large emergency vehicles like fire trucks may serve the primary purpose of responding to fires and other emergencies, but this does not mean these vehicles are incapable of causing accidents. Many emergency vehicles must use risky driving maneuvers to reach their destinations as quickly as possible. In some cases, this can mean driving on the wrong side of the road, weaving between lanes of stopped traffic, and taking very tight turns. Unfortunately, these actions can sometimes cause serious accidents.

Flatbed Trucks

Not every commercial delivery truck will carry a large rectangular trailer. Some cargo types require flatbed trailers, such as lumber, smaller construction vehicles, or building materials. It is vital for the operators of large flatbed trucks to use extreme caution when securing their cargoes. Any failure to secure a large cargo could easily lead to a very dangerous accident, potentially dropping cargo into the road directly in front of another driver or causing the truck to roll over due to a sudden imbalance.

Passenger Movers

Other large commercial trucks such as coaches and tour buses are also capable of causing severe accidents. The services that offer passenger transportation with these vehicles are classified as common carriers, meaning they offer transportation as a paid service. Common carriers have a higher duty of care than other drivers, and when one of these vehicles crashes, it typically causes serious injuries to multiple passengers in a single event.

Find Legal Counsel for Your Recent Truck Accident

Ultimately, any large truck is inherently more dangerous than most other vehicles on the road. If you or a loved one experienced injuries and other losses due to the negligence of a commercial truck driver or a third party who causes a truck accident, it’s essential to know your legal options. An experienced attorney can help you hold the responsible party accountable for their actions with a personal injury claim. Contact The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC today to schedule a consultation with an attorney if you are ready to take legal action for your recent truck accident.