Heavy Truck Crashes


Heavy truck crashes have features that go beyond that of an automobile crash. Compared to automobiles, heavy trucks have different braking systems, tire-road friction coefficients, electronic data recording capabilities and driver visibility. In addition, the trucking industry is heavily regulated with maintenance, loading and driver regulations.

The air brake system of a heavy truck is one of its most important safety systems. It is also one of its most complex. It is imperative that the heavy truck accident reconstructionist understands how the air brake system works and the effect of out-of-adjustment brakes on stopping distance. Mr. Owen has attended Bendix Air Brake training and is knowledgeable in this area.

The electronic control module from most heavy trucks can give the speed, engine RPM, as well as brake, clutch and throttle use before a sudden deceleration. That data has to be carefully downloaded, analyzed and interpreted. Crash Response, Inc. has the equipment and software required to extract the data and the knowledge to analyze and interpret it correctly.


Heavy truck accident reconstruction issues include:

  • Brake condition and effectiveness
  • Maintenance and pre-trip inspection (lights, brakes, conspicuity tape)
  • ECM download, analysis and interpretation
  • Sight distance, blind spots, driver reaction
  • Semi-trailer path (off-tracking)
  • Roll-over causation (speed vs. load placement)
  • Jack-knifes and swing-outs