The current minimum financial responsibility levels for 18 wheeler trucks and commercial vehicles was set in 1985. The levels for property are $750,000 for transporting property, $5 million for transportation of certain hazardous materials, and $1 million for transportation of other hazardous materials. The levels for passengers are $5 million for vehicles that hold 16 passengers or more and $1.5 million for vehicles that hold 15 or less passengers. Although the 18 wheeler trucking and commercial industry has grown from a $203 billion industry in 1982 to a $642 billion in 2012, the minimum financial responsibility levels have not increased on almost 20 years. Those minimum responsibility levels have not kept up with inflation or the medical consumer price index.
Those current limits simply do not adequately cover catastrophic 18 wheeler trucking accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has determined that the current minimums are inadequate and recommended to Congress that the levels be raised.
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