semitruck accidents

Semi-Truck Driver Accidents: What You Need To Know

semitruck accidents

Semi-truck driver accidents are a frequent occurrence in the U.S., with approximately 388,000 incidents annually. In certain years, like 2021, this number surpassed the half-a-million mark.

The prevalence of these accidents is due to various factors. As a truck driver, understanding these causes is crucial. It enables you to take necessary precautions, ultimately reducing the likelihood of trucking accidents.

This article looks at top causes of semi-truck accidents and how you can prevent them to make our roads safer for all road users.

Common Causes of Semi-Truck Driver Accidents

According to a truck crash causation study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the common causes of semi-truck accidents fall under three main categories:

  • Driver error
  • Equipment failure or vehicle malfunction
  • Environmental conditions

Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.

Driver Error

Driver error is an umbrella term referring to any mistake a driver makes that leads to an accident. This is the number one cause of semi-truck driver accidents because almost all trucks are entirely human-driven.

Oversight by truckers includes non-performance errors, that is, mistakes unrelated to the driver’s driving skills, and performance errors, i.e., those related to their driving habits, and may include the following:

distracted truck driver

Distraction Behind the Wheel

A slight lapse in concentration when driving a semi-truck can lead to a fatal semi-truck driver accident, killing or injuring several people. This is because driving a semi-truck is different from driving regular cars. It requires more calculation, such as ensuring there is enough space (about 40% more) before stopping.

Distracted drivers can easily miscalculate their next move and cause a crash. Often, truck drivers get distracted trying to use their phones and other hand-held devices while driving.

Case in point: a trucker was recently charged with five counts of manslaughter. He hit another commercial vehicle, which crashed into two other cars, killing five people on the scene.

Driver Fatigue

Truckers are usually compensated based on the number of miles they drive, motivating many to extend their work hours for increased mileage. However, the FMCSA has established strict hours-of-service regulations that all truckers must follow.

Despite these guidelines, the pressure to cover more distance often leads to fatigue, and some truckers may find themselves dozing off behind the wheel, contributing to the occurrence of truck crashes.

Substance abuse

Alcohol or substance abuse impairs one’s judgment, and truck drivers are not immune to their effects. A truck driver can become drowsy and slow to respond to different situations or conditions on the road when under the influence. Fatal truck crashes are more likely to occur as a result.

Traffic Violations

Flaunting interstate traffic laws is a common practice among truckers. Most run stop lights, fail to obey road signs, or overspeed, increasing their risk of getting involved in semi-truck accidents.

blind spot

Failure to Check Blind Spots

Because of their large size and weight, there are several blind spots a trucker must check before switching lanes or turning. Some drivers fail to check their mirrors as needed and hit other vehicles or pedestrians.

Aggressive driving

Road rage affects nearly all drivers, truckers included. More often than not, it leads to reckless or aggressive driving, where one driver might try to crash into another who made them angry deliberately.

Inexperienced Drivers

Inexperienced drivers are more likely to cause a crash, especially on interstate roads, compared to their experienced counterparts.

Equipment Failure Or Vehicle Malfunctions

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted another large truck crash causation study and realized that equipment failure or vehicle malfunctions are among the top causes of semi-truck accidents. Nearly 55% of the trucks involved in the crashes studied had one mechanical failure at the very least.

If your vehicle or any of its parts fail when you are on the road, a truck crash becomes unavoidable because the situation is almost always out of your control. There are several types of equipment failures or vehicle malfunctions to note, including:

  • Part manufacturing defects
  • Wrongly Loaded Cargo
  • Transmission failure
  • Improperly inflated or worn-out tires
  • Missing safety equipment, like underride rails
  • Overall poor vehicle maintenance, including poorly maintained brakes

Environmental Conditions

Unpredictable weather and changing road conditions can also cause semi-truck accidents. Heavy rains or storms, for instance, make roads wet and slippery, increasing the risk of accidents. Some roads are also poorly maintained and demand more cautious driving.

If a truck driver fails to drive keenly on uneven roads or those with large potholes, fading road markings, and missing signage, they will likely cause a crash.

Steps You Can Take to Prevent the Causes of Most Truck Accidents

As you can tell, most causes of semi-truck driver accidents are things or situations within your control. Here are a few steps you can take to drive safely and prevent truck accidents:

  • Focus – be keen while driving to stay alert and respond to changing road conditions accordingly. Avoid taking your eyes off the road to use your phone or any other gadget when behind the wheel.
  • Maintain your semi-truck properly regularly – this helps identify and handle mechanical issues quickly, minimizing the risk of accidents. Also, follow the required pre-trip vehicle inspection process to ensure your truck is always in good shape before getting on the road.
  • Obey traffic rules and regulations – these rules are there to protect you and other road users.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles to give yourself enough room to maneuver.
  • Avoid overloading and ensure all cargo is secured perfectly before making a trip.
  • Don’t drink or use any street drugs and drive.
  • Get enough rest, especially if you’re a long-distance truck driver. It prevents fatigue and helps you stay alert while driving.

road rules

Final Thoughts

It is essential to note that most truck accidents happen due to a combination of factors. For example, a semi-truck driver might run stop lights due to brake failure or make sudden, unpredictable turns due to poor road conditions.

Because of this, it’s advisable always to drive defensively and follow all the tips for preventing trucking accidents discussed above.

That said, there are a few things you ought to do if you ever find yourself in a truck crash. Follow our safety guide to learn how to handle a semi-truck accident.

Also, contact us if you need financial help to replace your truck after an accident. We’re always ready to help.

commercial accident

Commercial Vehicle Accident Explained

As a truck driver, commercial vehicle accidents are only too familiar. Nearly 388,000 truck accidents happen annually across the U.S.

While you can’t always avoid accidents, you should be well informed on how to deal with them in case they do happen. Knowing what to do will help you deal with commercial truck accidents swiftly while minimizing the impact of these accidents.

Our guide covers the essential information related to these accidents and how to deal with them to help you be better prepared for potential truck accidents.

What Qualifies as a Commercial Vehicle Accident?

A commercial vehicle accident refers to any collision or accident involving a vehicle that is used for business or commercial purposes.

These accidents can vary in severity, from minor fender benders to catastrophic collisions. They Can involve various types of commercial vehicles.

Why are Commercial Vehicles at Risk for Accidents?

Commercial vehicles are at a higher risk for accidents due to their size, weight, limited visibility, and long hours on the road.

Many factors can cause commercial vehicle accidents, and even the most experienced truck drivers end up in accidents due to their high mileage and the inherent risk of operating a commercial vehicle.

distracted driver

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Commercial truck accidents can result from many different factors. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Driver Fatigue: Long hours on the road and tight schedules can lead to driver fatigue, impairing a truck driver’s reaction time and decision-making abilities.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a truck driver’s ability to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions and increases the severity of accidents.
  • Distracted Driving: Distractions like texting, phone calls, eating, or adjusting GPS devices can divert a truck driver’s attention from the road, leading to accidents.
  • Inadequate Training: Insufficient training in handling large commercial vehicles can result in errors and poor decision-making on the road.
  • Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Cargo: Improperly loaded or overweight cargo can affect the stability and handling of a truck, increasing the risk of rollovers and accidents.
  • Equipment Failure: Mechanical failures in the truck’s components, such as brakes, tires, or steering, can lead to accidents. Poor maintenance practices contribute to equipment failure.
  • Weather Conditions: Adverse weather, such as rain, snow, ice, or fog, can reduce visibility and traction, making accidents more likely.
  • Blind Spots: Large trucks have significant blind spots, making it challenging to see smaller vehicles. This can result in accidents, especially during lane changes or turns.
  • Hazardous Materials Incidents: Trucks carrying hazardous materials can pose additional risks, as spills, leaks, or explosions can result in severe accidents and environmental damage.

Common Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can cause a range of injuries, often more severe than car accidents due to the size and weight of commercial vehicles.

Severe injuries could include whiplash, fractures, head and brain injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and psychological trauma. Seeking prompt medical attention is crucial, as the injuries can vary from minor to life-altering, and early intervention is essential for recovery.

Steps to Take After a Commercial Vehicle Accident

Responding swiftly to commercial vehicle accidents is essential. Here are some of the most critical steps commercial drivers should take after an accident with a semi-truck.

Ensure Safety

First, check for injuries and move to a safe location if possible. Turn on hazard lights, set up warning devices, and secure the accident scene to prevent further collisions.

Call for Help

Dial 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance and law enforcement to the scene. Commercial accidents often involve severe injuries and may require specialized attention.

Exchange Information

Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved, including witnesses. Note the other driver’s license plate number and insurance details.

Document the Scene

Take photos and notes of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and traffic signs. This documentation can be vital for insurance claims and legal purposes.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel injured directly after the accident, it’s crucial to see a healthcare professional. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately, and a medical record is essential for potential claims.

get a lawyer

Cooperate With Law Enforcement

Provide a statement to the police and answer their questions honestly. Request a copy of the police report for your records.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Follow their guidance on filing a claim and provide all necessary information.

Consult An Attorney

Consider seeking legal counsel, especially if there are injuries or disputes regarding liability. An experienced truck accident attorney can help protect your rights and navigate complex commercial accident cases.

This is especially important if you’re involved in a personal injury lawsuit with accident victims claiming medical expenses. An experienced personal injury attorney will make this process a lot easier.

Preserve Evidence

Keep any evidence related to the accident, such as medical records, repair estimates, and correspondence with insurance companies or legal professionals. The more evidence you have, the stronger and easier your claims process will be.

Avoid Discussing the Accident

Refrain from discussing the accident on social media or with anyone other than your legal representation and insurance company. Statements made publicly can be used against you.

Final Thoughts

Remember that commercial vehicle accidents can be complex, and it’s essential to protect your rights and interests throughout the process. Seeking professional guidance from legal and medical experts is advisable to navigate potential legal and insurance challenges effectively.

It’s also vital that you understand the risks involved in commercial accidents and that you take all necessary precautions to avoid the accidents from happening in the first place. Ultimately, this comes down to responsible driving practices and taking good care of your vehicle.

If you’re looking to purchase a new semi-truck after a commercial vehicle accident, then you’ll probably need to find the right financing solution. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial, where we can help you secure financing for your commercial vehicle with ease.

accident truck

Semi Truck Accident (What To Do)

accident truck

There are roughly 388,000 semi-truck accidents each year in the US.

Semi-truck accidents are the last thing you want to experience as a professional truck driver. However, you can’t always avoid them.

You need to know how to deal with an accident swiftly and professionally. If you ever find yourself in a truck accident, make sure you follow these steps.

How To Handle a Semi-Truck Accident

1. Ensure Safety First

First and foremost, check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. Call 911 immediately if anyone is seriously injured.

While there’s a lot to do after a commercial truck accident, the first priority should always be making sure everyone is safe.

Even if the accident seemed minor and no real injuries seem present, you should still consider seeing a doctor after the incident just to make sure you’re safe. In many cases, injuries after an accident won’t show themselves immediately.

Once you’ve assessed the damage and have made any necessary calls to medics and emergency services, it’s time to start clearing the accident and gathering the necessary information for insurance companies.

2. Check Your Cargo

Semi-trucks could haul just about anything. After a semi-truck accident, you’ll want to make sure that your cargo is safe before moving the vehicle. In many cases, cargo can come loose, causing an even greater accident when you try to move the truck.

traffic obstruction

Of course, if you’re hauling dangerous cargo or if you crashed a tanker truck, then you’ll need to alert emergency services about this. Certain cargo could result in greater dangers, like the risk of fires or explosions, after the crash.

Once all people involved in the truck accident have been accounted for, and the cargo has been safely dealt with, then the next steps are all about dealing with the aftermath of the crash.

3. Move to a Safe Location

This might not always be possible, as vehicles are often damaged beyond use in truck accidents. But, if it’s safe to do so, move your vehicle(s) out of the flow of traffic to prevent further accidents or hazards.

If your truck is obstructing the road, try to just pull over to the side. You do not want to drive away or get too far from the accident scene, but you should try to clear up the road and any traffic if it’s possible.

If you are not able to clear any vehicles, make sure that local traffic services have been alerted so that they can redirect traffic.

4. Call the Police

Now that the immediate safety actions are out of the way, you’ll need to notify local police services about the accident.

Report the accident to the police, even if it seems minor. A police report can be crucial for insurance claims and legal purposes. As mentioned above, you might also need the police to help clear the road.


Even if you don’t think it’s necessary at the moment, having an official police report of the incident will make dealing with the semi-truck accident far easier.

5. Exchange Information With the Driver

Now that the immediate actions after the semi-truck accident have been taken care of, it’s time to start gathering evidence of the event. The first step here is to exchange contact details with the owner of the other vehicle involved.

Exchange contact and insurance information with any other involved parties. Be sure to collect their:

  • Name, address, and phone number
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Insurance information

This information is essential for making your insurance claim or helping you negotiate a settlement with the driver.

When doing this, try your best not to get emotional or into an argument with the driver. Simply gather as many details as you can and start processing the post-accident activities.

6. Document the Scene

You’ll need to have a clear picture of the accident scene with as much relevant evidence as possible. The more you can document the accident scene, the easier it will be to make an insurance claim and potentially offer evidence against the other driver.

Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, road conditions, and any relevant road signs or signals. This can be valuable evidence later. Always try to gather photo or video evidence first.

accident scene2

Accidents can happen very fast and the small details are often forgotten. So, before leaving the scene of the accident, ensure you recollect exactly what happened. It could be worth writing this down straight away so that you have a consistent and accurate story about how the accident took place.

7. Identify Witnesses

This isn’t always possible, but if there are witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information. They may be able to provide statements to support your case. They could also help supply you with a more accurate account of how the accident happened.

Simply gather their contact details and their perspective on the accident. The more accounts and evidence you have around the accident, the easier your claims process will be.

8. Get Your Truck Safely Removed From the Site

One of the most important parts of dealing with a truck accident is clearing the site of the accident.

This is much easier to do for regular cars, as tow trucks can simply pull them away. However, with a semi-truck, this gets more complicated.

Even if you think your truck is in good condition, it’s important that you thoroughly inspect it before driving away. A small issue with the truck could turn out to be a far bigger problem later on if you keep driving with it.

So, if you’re unsure about the state of your vehicle, then it would be best to have the truck professionally towed to a mechanic. They can give the semi-truck a detailed inspection before letting you drive off again with it.

You’ll also need to have the truck assessed by a recognized mechanic in order for you to get a cost of damage quote to show the insurance company.

Remember, your semi-truck is an incredibly valuable and important part of your trucking business. Spending a bit extra to have it carefully towed and assessed can end up saving you money in the long run.

medical attention 2

9. Seek Medical Attention

If you’ve just been involved in a semi-truck accident, then you’ll want to seek medical attention.

Even if you don’t feel seriously injured, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical evaluation can document your condition.

And if you do have any medical issues that resulted from the accident, you’ll need to have a proper doctor’s account of your condition if you’re going to make any kind of medical claims.

10. Notify Your Insurance Company

Most of the hard work of “cleaning up” the accident is now behind you. However, one of the biggest steps in dealing with an accident is contacting your insurance provider and making an insurance claim.

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. The sooner they hear about the accident, the faster and easier your claims process will be.

Provide them with all the information you collected at the scene of the accident, including the pictures, witness statements, and your own account of the accident.

This is why it’s so important that you understand your commercial truck insurance broker’s claims process early on, as this will help you make swift and efficient claims if and when you need to.

11. Avoid Discussing Fault

Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident, even if you believe you may have contributed to it. Fault can be determined by a thorough investigation.

You can leave issues like this up to attorneys – it’s not something you should argue over.


12. Consult an Attorney

If you’re injured or if the accident involves complex legal issues, consider consulting an attorney who specializes in personal injury or accident cases. Finding the right attorney for commercial truck accidents is an important step for anyone who runs a trucking business, as they will help to make any disputes or claims a far easier process.

13. Preserve Evidence

Make sure that you keep all documents related to the accident, including medical records, repair estimates, and correspondence with insurance companies and legal counsel. You will need these documents for any claims or legal proceedings, and you never know when they might be requested.

14. Follow Through

Cooperate with law enforcement, your insurance company, and any legal representatives you hire.

Stay informed about the progress of your case and make sure you know what’s going on, but remember to be patient too. Unfortunately, delays with a semi-truck accident can take time.


While semi-truck accidents can’t always be avoided, the way you deal with them determines how quickly you’ll be able to get past the accident and back on the road. Following the steps above should help you achieve this.

If you need to replace your semi-truck after an accident, then you’ll need to find the right funding. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial to see just how easy accessing semi-truck financing can be.

How To Avoid Commercial Truck Accidents

How To Avoid Commercial Truck Accidents

Commercial truck accidents are one of the biggest risks of running a trucking business. Even the most experienced commercial truck drivers can get caught up in an accident, so it’s essential to be alert at all times and aware of all possible accident causes.

While you never know what lies ahead when operating a truck, drivers must be prepared for all possible scenarios. To help you out, this guide explores some of the key causes of commercial truck accidents and how to avoid them.

How to Avoid Commercial Truck Accidents as a Driver

You can never predict when a commercial truck accident will take place. However, as a truck driver, you must do everything you can to prevent these accidents.

Here are some of the most important steps and considerations to avoid minor or fatal truck accidents.

Regular Maintenance

The most critical step in avoiding truck accidents is to make sure your vehicle is in good running condition. 10% of truck accidents result from vehicle errors, so ensuring your vehicle is taken care of will immediately reduce any risk of an accident.

Ensure that the commercial trucks are well-maintained. Regular inspections, maintenance, and repairs will help prevent mechanical failures that could lead to accidents.

Be sure to check all common issues before each truck journey. This includes looking for bad shocks, fuel filter issues, a bad starter, or faulty brakes. Keep your truck’s tire pressure at the right level, maintain correct oil levels, and pay attention to any strange noises or movements coming from the truck.

If you experience anything unusual, report this to a mechanic or take the truck in for maintenance. Not only will fixing issues early on help you avoid more significant accidents, but it can also be cheaper in the long-term maintenance of your vehicle.

Beyond the regular checks a truck driver should perform, you must never miss a service. Regularly servicing the truck will help you detect any possible issues that could result in accidents.

Secure Your Load

Truck accident statistics show that the cargo causes a large portion of accidents. Truck drivers must ensure their cargo is secured correctly and safely handled to avoid any cargo-related accidents.

Improperly secured cargo can shift, causing loss of control and accidents. The truck driver must understand the cargo they are transporting and how best to manage it. Some difficult types of cargo even require special licenses and training – ensure you are equipped with this if it applies.

When driving on multi-day trips, always check the cargo at the start and end of each day. Cargo can often shift around during long days on the road, so staying on top of it can play a significant role in avoiding truck crashes.

Driver Training

Of course, most truck accidents happen as a result of poor driving. You must have a good driver behind the wheel to avoid truck accidents.

Employ qualified and trained drivers who understand the unique challenges of driving commercial trucks. Provide ongoing training to keep their skills up-to-date.

The best way to minimize the risk of truck crashes is to use a driver with plenty of experience in the route, experience with the vehicle, and experience with the cargo they’re hauling. The longer the driver has had their commercial driver’s license (CDL), the better.

While gaining experience takes time, younger drivers can improve their odds against truck crashes with ongoing training. Consistently keeping up to date with best practices in truck driving safety is essential.

Drivers can also enroll in short courses to improve their truck driving skills and knowledge for different scenarios. For example, you could take a short course in driving in the snow or a course in driving vehicles that carry abnormal loads to better equip yourself with different types of commercial truck driving.

Vehicle Knowledge

Following on from the point above, many commercial truck accidents happen when the driver is unfamiliar with handling the vehicle.

A critical step in avoiding fatal crashes is gaining plenty of experience in the specific type of truck you’re driving. Understand the gross vehicle weight rating, know the total vehicle miles, and get accustomed to the tractor-trailer setup. The better truck operators know their vehicle and how to handle it, the easier it will be to avoid large truck crashes.

Hours of Service

Even the most knowledgeable and experienced truck operators can cause fatal crashes if they’re overly tired. Long-haul truck drivers need to get enough rest when driving their routes.

Always adhere to hours of service regulations to prevent driver fatigue. Make regular use of truck stops, and know when you need rest.

A significant number of commercial truck accident statistics result from fatigue. So, getting enough rest is essential if you’re driving a large truck. Not only does this protect the truck driver, but it protects any other passenger vehicles on the road. This is why national highway traffic safety places so much emphasis on truck drivers resting when necessary.

Avoid Distracted Driving

Drivers must stay focused on the road and avoid distractions like cell phones or other electronic devices. Fatal crashes can easily occur when the truck driver takes their eyes off the road for only a moment.

As a truck driver, you must always keep this in mind and practice absolute vigilance when driving.
Speed Management
This is another basic rule for truck driving, but it significantly reduces fatal crashes. fatal crashes.

Always follow speed limits and adjust speed based on road conditions, weather, and traffic. Speeding is a common cause of commercial truck accidents, but it’s an easy issue to avoid.

Even if you’re driving behind schedule, sticking to the speed limit can help you get your cargo to its destination safely – which is more important than getting there quickly.

Safe Following Distance

Always maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles. Commercial trucks require more time to stop due to their size and weight, so large trucks must keep their distance from other passenger vehicles.
Fatal truck crashes often result from drivers not having enough time to stop. So, keep your distance, and you’ll be a far safer driver.

Weather Awareness

While the weather is beyond your control, anyone driving a large truck needs to understand how to drive in different weather conditions.

Always check the weather report before taking to the road, and be prepared for different weather conditions. Slow down and exercise extra caution in adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or fog.

Defensive Driving

Train drivers to anticipate the actions of other drivers and be prepared to react appropriately. This can help avoid collisions caused by other drivers’ mistakes.

The truck driver doesn’t always cause commercial truck accidents. Instead, negligence may be due to passenger vehicle drivers. However, when trucks get involved in fatal crashes, the situation becomes a lot worse.

Large truck occupants need to know how to react swiftly to other vehicles on the road. Taking a defensive driving course is always a good idea for commercial drivers.

Avoid Aggressive Driving

Being a truck driver can get frustrating, but drivers must always stay calm and collected on the road.

Avoid any aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, road rage, and abrupt lane changes. Crashes involving large trucks are often caused by these brief moments of aggression – which can quickly turn into a fatal accident.

Use Mirrors

Any large truck occupants need to make the most out of their mirrors.

Make proper use of mirrors to be aware of the surroundings. Blind spots are larger for commercial trucks, so use mirrors to stay informed. Always double-check the mirror, even if you think the road is clear.

Observe Traffic Signs

Another obvious one is that road signs are there to keep truck drivers safe. As driving a large truck is a different experience, truck drivers must closely monitor road signs that relate to them.

Follow all traffic rules and signs, including weight limits, height restrictions, and other commercial vehicle-specific regulations. Of course, drivers also need to understand their truck’s height and weight before setting out on a journey.


Knowing how to avoid commercial truck accidents is essential to being a truck driver. Always be aware of the common accident causes and be alert about how to avoid them. This is one of the most critical functions of anyone operating a large truck.

Looking to purchase a semi-truck for your business? Get in touch with us at Mission Financial Services where we help all kinds of truck drivers acquire commercial vehicle financing, regardless of credit score.

Bobtail Insurance for Semi-Truck Drivers

Bobtail Insurance for Semi-Truck Drivers

When you purchase a semi-truck, one of the first things you must do is get it properly insured. This involves getting primary liability insurance, as well as considering bobtail insurance.

Many drivers overlook Bobtail insurance, also known as non-trucking liability insurance. While it’s not always necessary to own a truck, this insurance can add significant value if you’re involved in a semi-truck accident while not driving on a delivery route.

This guide explores exactly what non-trucking liability insurance is, what it covers, and whether you should get bobtail insurance for your semi-truck.

What is Bobtail Insurance Coverage?

Bobtail insurance protects commercial truck drivers when operating their trucks without a trailer or cargo. It’s sometimes also referred to as non-trucking liability insurance.

Bobtail insurance is important because most commercial trucking insurance policies only provide coverage when the truck is driving or hauling freight. However, all kinds of possible issues could happen to your semi-truck while it’s not in action – which is when bobtail liability insurance will cover you.

Bobtail insurance is a different product from primary commercial trucking insurance. Primary insurance covers the truck while it’s engaged in commercial activities, such as hauling cargo. Bobtail insurance specifically covers the truck during non-business use or when it’s operating without a trailer.

Having both primary commercial truck insurance and non-trucking liability insurance provides complete coverage for your vehicle.

What Does Bobtail Insurance for Semi-Trucks Cover?

Insurance policies change with each broker, so each bobtail insurance plan is unique. However, bobtail liability insurance typically provides two main areas of coverage.

Non-Commercial Use

Bobtail insurance covers situations when a commercial truck is being driven for non-business or personal use. For example, if a trucker is driving the tractor (the front part of the truck) without a trailer for personal reasons, like going home after delivery, this coverage can protect them.

Bobtail insurance can also provide coverage for a parked semi-truck when it’s not in commercial use. Many commercial truck insurance companies only offer coverage when the truck is in active service.

Liability Coverage

The main focus of bobtail insurance is on liability protection. This type of truck insurance can help cover the costs if the truck driver is involved in an accident while not hauling a trailer and they are found to be at fault. This includes bodily injury and property damage liability. Truckers must have proper liability coverage at all times.

Who Needs Bobtail Insurance?

Anyone who owns a semi-truck can benefit from having non-trucking liability insurance.

This is especially true if you’re an owner-operator, as you’ll probably drive your truck’s trailer non-commercially at times. As your semi-truck is such a valuable asset, you’ll want to make sure it’s adequately insured at all times – which is why bobtail insurance is so valuable.

Trucking companies or truck lease agreements might sometimes require bobtail insurance. So, some truck drivers may need to take out a bobtail insurance policy to buy a semi-truck. You could get bobtail insurance coverage for a single commercial vehicle or this non-trucking liability coverage for an entire fleet.

If you often drive your truck without a trailer, then getting bobtail insurance is worth considering. Bobtailing is also known to be more dangerous than driving a loaded truck, so having this coverage can add a great deal of value. Without it, you may have to pay enormous legal fees and damages costs in the event of an accident.

Even if it’s not legally mandated, it’s a good idea for truckers who operate their vehicles without trailers to have this coverage to avoid potential financial risks.

How Much Does Bobtail Insurance Cost?

As with any commercial vehicle insurance policy, the cost of non-trucking liability insurance depends on various factors. These are mainly focused on:

  • Your personal driving history: It’s more likely for truck drivers with a longer driving record and more experience with a CDP to get lower premiums on their non-trucking liability insurance.
  • Usage: How long you plan to need bobtail liability insurance based on how often you drive without a trailer will be considered. The more you bobtail, the more expensive your insurance premiums could be.
  • Insurance history: Any bobtail insurance company considers past insurance claims and policies to understand your risk profile.
  • Your coverage limits: Of course, the amount you want to be covered up to in liability costs dictates how much you’ll pay for your bobtail truck insurance. The higher your coverage is, the higher your costs will be.

So, the cost of bobtail insurance can vary greatly depending on the driver’s circumstances. Different bobtail insurance companies will also charge differently.

However, East Insurance Group says drivers often pay around $400 to carry bobtail insurance. Temporary bobtail insurance policies are also available at lower annual premiums.

Where to Find Bobtail Truck Insurance

Many commercial vehicle insurance providers offer bobtail coverage. Most insurers provide quotes on their websites. It’s also worth looking into insurance comparison sites to see what bobtail and trucking liability insurance options are available. This also makes it easy to compare quotes.

Take a look at our roundup of the top commercial truck insurance brokers to help you find the best bobtail insurance coverage.


While saving money on insurance costs may seem attractive, being caught short without insurance can be an absolute killer for your trucking business. This is why it’s essential to consider non-trucking liability insurance if it makes sense for your situation.

You might even need non-trucking liability insurance to purchase a semi-truck in the first place.

If you’re looking to buy a new truck, contact us at Mission Financial Services. We make it easy for all commercial truck drivers to gain financing for their ideal semi-truck.

How To Handle A Fatal Semi-Truck Accident

How To Handle A Fatal Semi-Truck Accident

Handling a fatal semi-truck accident is more complex than handling an accident involving regular cars.

Semi-trucks are subject to strict regulations that may not apply to regular cars. You must comply with all the FMCSA semi-truck accident regulations to be safe.

Additionally, more than one party can be liable for the crash. You need to handle the truck accident in a way that protects your rights to compensation for all injuries and damages incurred.

There are nine steps you should take to abide by the law and optimize your chances of maximum compensation. This will help you deal with the aftermath and get back on track sooner.

Handling a Fatal Semi-Truck Accident: 9 Steps

Some truck accidents lead to severe injuries or fatalities. It can be terrifying, but you must stay at the accident scene and avoid panicking.

If you leave the accident scene before following due process, you risk losing your truck driving license or having criminal charges filed against you. Doing this also reduces your chances of getting compensated for any damages. Here’s how to handle a fatal semi-truck accident correctly.

At The Accident Scene

Step 1: Confirm That Everyone is Safe

In a fatal truck accident, your safety and that of your passengers should be your top priority. If you’re injured, stay still until help arrives. If you’re uninjured and can move, check on other occupants of your truck and occupants of other vehicles involved.

Avoid moving any injured victims, as it may make their condition worse.

Step 2: Call Emergency Services

Call 911 to get first responders dispatched to the accident scene as soon as possible. In most states, calling the police to the scene and filing a report is mandatory if the crash led to severe injuries, multiple fatalities, or extensive damage to vehicles.

When dealing with the authorities and any other party approaching you, words matter. Be careful not to admit fault to anyone in any way when giving an account of what happened. Anything you say throughout the investigation can work as evidence against your claim.

Step 3: Collect Evidence

Start building your case by documenting the accident scene. Take pictures of the damage incurred to use as evidence when proving your claim to insurers or the court should your case get to trial. Specifically, take photos of the following:

  • Your semi-truck and the damage sustained
  • The other vehicles involved in the crash
  • Skid marks, shattered glass, and other physical evidence on the ground, such as car parts
  • Landmarks and street signs to show the location of the truck crash

Often, fatal truck accidents cause a traffic build-up and are newsworthy. You might get tempted to share photos of the scene on your social media pages, but don’t do it. Your online post could weaken your claim and reduce the settlement amount.

Step 4: Get Information on Those Involved

It’s also critical for you to get the details of everyone involved in the crash. In an accident including another semi, pickup, and a cab, the following info may come in handy:

  • Drivers’ names and addresses
  • License number of the other semi-truck driver plus the trucking company they work for
  • The plate number of the semi and further identifying details like the make or model
  • Insurance company info, including policy number
  • Eye witnesses’ names, phone numbers, or addresses
  • Generally, the more information you get, the easier it is for you to file a personal injury claim correctly if you were not the at-fault party.

After The Accident

Step 5: Seek Medical Evaluation and Document Treatment

Seek medical evaluation even if you feel fine. Keep all medical records, including your expenses, safely. You may need these to submit with your claim.

As a company truck driver, you must take post-accident alcohol and drug tests following applicable federal alcohol testing requirements. Your employer is required by law to ensure this happens.

Step 6: Get The Vehicle Appraised

If you’re an independent truck driver or owner-operator, get your semi-truck appraised to evaluate the damage and estimate the repair cost. Ensure you follow the vehicle appraisal guidelines your insurer requires so they don’t refuse to settle your claim.

For those with towing add-on coverage, you can have your vehicle towed. However, request the mechanic not to repair any damage until you clear the vehicle with your insurer.

Step 7: Contact a Commercial Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer

Consult a qualified semi-truck accident attorney before reaching out to your insurance company. The lawyer will help you identify the legal routes you can take and how much in settlement you deserve. Your legal team can also help you handle multiple insurers and deal with any lawsuits you may face.

Step 8: Alert Your Insurance Company

Once you know your legal stand, alert your insurance company and file a claim. Ensure you do this within the time frame specified by your insurer to avoid denial of coverage.

You may also want to file settlement claims with the insurers of all the parties responsible for the accident if you were not at fault. These may include your trucking company, vehicle manufacturers, repair companies, government entities, etc. It’s best to let your lawyer handle this so you can get maximum compensation from each party.

Step 9: Complete Repairs or Get a New Semi

The last step is to get your truck repaired to get back on track. You can also opt to purchase a new semi if the one you have is irreparable. Mission Financial Services can help finance your commercial vehicle loan repairs or new semi-truck purchase. Here’s a step-by-step guide on financing a semi-truck you can follow to get the help you need.


It’s worth emphasizing that you should avoid talking to the representatives of insurance providers (including your own) before consulting your lawyer.

Insurers almost always put their interests first, and they’ll offer less than you deserve. This will happen from when the accident occurs until a fair settlement is reached, so you must stay vigilant throughout.

For more information on financing your truck’s repairs or buying a new one after a truck accident, contact us at Mission Financial Services. We are always ready to help you get your life back on course and can customize our financing options to your specific situation.


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