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How Are Commercial Vehicle Collisions Different From Car Accidents?

Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys’s commercial vehicle accident attorneys in Austin provide transparent legal services to people injured in Texas, so they can fully understand how their case is unique and pursue compensation for their injuries.

This service includes helping each of our clients recognize the differences in traffic collisions and identify the responsible parties so we can pursue financial recovery for the client and their family.

When it comes to the differences between commercial vehicle accidents and passenger car collisions, the contrast between the two is significant.

Here is why.

Commercial Vehicles are Very Different from Passenger Vehicles

A passenger vehicle is a motor vehicle designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons, other than a motorcycle, golf cart, light truck, or bus.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines commercial vehicles as any type of vehicle:

  • Used for transporting goods or passengers that have a gross weight of 10,001+ pounds
  • Designed or used to transport more than eight passengers for compensation or more than 15 passengers without compensation
  • Any size vehicle that transports hazardous goods

Common examples of commercial vehicles traveling our Texas roadways include:

  • 18-Wheelers
  • Box Trucks
  • Bucket Trucks
  • Buses
  • Coaches
  • Dump Trucks
  • Flatbed Trucks
  • Garbage Trucks
  • Grapple Trucks
  • Heavy Equipment used for Mining, Construction, and Farming
  • Refrigerator Trucks
  • Tow Trucks
  • Trailers
  • Travel Trailers over 10,000 pounds
  • Vans

Comparatively, passenger vehicles weigh, on average, approximately 2,800 pounds, and are much smaller in physical size than commercial vehicles, making a collision between a maximum weight of 80,000 pound 18-wheeler and a sedan potentially catastrophic.

How are Commercial Vehicle Collisions Different from Passenger Vehicle Crashes?

Vehicle collisions can share some of the same crash causes of commercial vehicles.


  • Speeding Accidents
  • Distracted driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to obey traffic signs and signals

The difference in these crashes is that commercial vehicle collisions may also be caused by:

  • Hours of service violations
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Lack of training and safety programs for drivers
  • Defective truck parts and components
  • Improper maintenance and inadequate inspections

The other major difference in these collisions is who can be held liable for the crash, injuries, or fatalities that occur because of the liable party’s negligence.

Commercial vehicle drivers, vehicles, and companies have occupancy restrictions and driver capability requirements that require full compliance, which can make the truck’s driver, trucking company, another third party, or a combination of each, liable for the collision and the complete damages that result.

To determine who is at fault for your Multi-Vehicle Accidents, contact our skilled Austin personal injury attorneys at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys by calling (512) 699-1382 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with our bilingual staff who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure your legal rights are protected.

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