Congress is currently working on new legislation that would raise the minimum insurance coverage required to operate a semi-truck in the United States. H.R. 2 is a transportation bill, called the INVEST in America Act, that is moving through the US House. Of course, given the congressional focus on stimulus legislation and related Covid measures, the bill’s movement has paused.
There is strong support for the bill, which raises the minimum required insurance coverage for semi trucks from the current $750,000 to the proposed amount of $2,000,000—which reflects the frequently severe damages and costs that occur after a trucking accident. As the legislation has progressed through Congress, various research reports about the trucking industry have emerged. These reports and related materials contain extensive information and 10 key trucking facts from that information are provided below.
- Traffic crashes in Kansas resulted in over $2.5 billion in economic costs last year, which is a conservative estimate based on the limitations of state agencies to fully measure the losses from all crashes.
- Last year, there were 1,856,130 people employed as semi truck drivers throughout the nation.
- Last year, trucking growth was 13% in Kansas. With the increase in job openings, many people have enrolled in trucking programs to get a CDL and begin driving semi trucks with Kansas companies. The average tuition cost throughout the state is $2,775.
- The most recent job statistics showed 72,570 semi-truck drivers were employed by Kansas companies. According to state reports, there are approximately 11,000 trucking companies registered in Kansas. The average truck driver’s salary was approximately $47,000.
- In Kansas, the maximum gross weight for semi trucks is 85,500 lbs, but there is a lower limit of 80,000 lbs for semi trucks driving on interstate highways.
- A single five-axle truck weighs about the same as 20 automobiles but its impact on the roadway is the same as 9,600 automobiles.
- On average, semi trucks transport 203,980 lbs of freight on Kansas roads each day.
- The maximum legal width of a semi truck is 8.5 feet, and the maximum height is 14 feet. There is a height exception for trucks hauling bales of hay, which allows for a maximum height of 14.5 feet.
- Kansas law allows a maximum of 59 feet 6 inches for a semi trailer.
- The fatality rate on rural roads in Kansas is approximately 4.5 times greater than the fatality rate on all other Kansas roads
We are optimistic about the bill’s eventual passage through Congress. The information in the list above shows the serious need for enhanced insurance coverage given the scope of the trucking industry and related costs from trucking crashes.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident, please contact us today. Attorney Pablo Mose – 620.227.8126.