The crash happened on Highway 99 and V Street in Merced on Wednesday night.
California Highway Patrol officials say the big rig driver was northbound on Highway 99 at a slow rate of speed due to road construction.
That's when the driver of a Mazda crashed into the rear trailer. Paramedics pronounced the driver dead at the scene.
Officials say there were several signs in the area warning of the road construction.
It is unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol played a role in this crash.