As you may have previously read on this blog, or seen elsewhere in the news, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently considering new regulations that would raise the federal minimum insurance requirements for trucks and buses. Approximately 4,000 people die in truck crashes each year. Studies have revealed that a fatal truck crash often costs over $4.3 million, but truckers are only required to maintain insurance policies of $750,000. This insurance requirement was set over 30 years ago and has never been adjusted. “Outdated insurance requirements allow trucking companies to skirt responsibility and leave injured motorists and taxpayers to pay the difference,” explained American Associate of Justice President Lisa Blue Baron.
Earlier this year, the FMCSA conducted its own study on the adequacy of the current minimum insurance requirements. In its report to Congress, the FMCSA concluded that the costs of injuries and fatalities arising from crashes far exceed the minimum insurance levels interstate operators are required to carry.
Last week, in an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule making (ANPRM), the FMCSA has presented 26 questions for comment, including inquiries related to adequate compensation for victims and the impacts of increasing the minimum levels of insurance. The initial comment period will end on February 26, 2015. In hopes, the FMCSA will issue a proposed rule increasing the minimum insurance levels in the near future.