The recent semi-truck crash that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan highlights the need for commercial vehicle insurance and the importance of driver safety. The truck driver, working for the world’s largest retail chain, hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours when his semi crashed into the comedians’ limousine, according to media reports. While Walmart certainly has the resources to pay any damages, including any resulting lawsuits stemming from the death of one of Morgan’s fellow comedians in the vehicle, many companies do not have those kinds of bank accounts and legal teams.
Could your company handle the kind of financial fallout from a crash like this? Currently, the minimum liability insurance standard for trucking and shipping companies is $750,000. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calls this 30-year-old minimum “grossly inadequate” for nearly half of all commercial truck collisions. In fact, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation found that liability awards in large truck crashes that result in death or catastrophic injury can reach $10 million or more.
The U.S. DOT published the Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study, which found that truck driver fatigue is the leading factor in heavy truck accidents. A simultaneous push is underway in Congress to strengthen driver sleep guidelines while increasing the minimum liability standards for commercial vehicle insurance. As new reforms take root, your company is most likely doing all it can to improve driver safety while meeting its insurance obligations.
It is unclear yet how these changes to federal regulations will impact small commercial vehicle needs. If your company car is used to transport clients across town for meetings, will you be under the same obligations? Whatever your commercial vehicles are used for, you need an insurance agent who is up-to-date with the changing transportation landscape.
Our knowledgeable agents are also closely following the proceedings in Washington to see how they play out. We have years of experience working with businesses with commercial vehicle needs. We work for your business’ interest and not the insurance company’s bottom line, enabling us to find you a number of quotes offering the best coverage at the most affordable rates. Contact us to find out how you can meet all of your commercial vehicle insurance needs.