Although it is commonly known that the trucking industry is now experiencing a workforce deficit, did you realize that it is also experiencing another kind of scarcity that is equally concerning?
No place to park
The trucking industry is presently experiencing a significant shortage in parking. There are just not enough parking lots or pull-off spots on the roadways to handle the current volume of trucks in the country.
Despite ongoing anxiety, such as the terrible March 2009 murder of one tired and sleeping Jason Rivenburg at an abandoned gas station, truck drivers continue to seek safe truck parking areas. And, given that the trucking business is expected to develop dramatically over the next decade or two, the problem will only worsen.
Parking shortage is a national safety issue
The lack of truck parking is “a national safety concern,” according to the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, and it is dangerous in two ways. To begin with, when truckers attempt to pull over or park at a rest stop to get some much-needed rest but are unable to do so, they are compelled to continue driving, which is extremely unsafe for everyone on the road. A weary truck driver is less aware, and a less aware truck driver is more likely to cause an accident.
Second, when truckers are too exhausted to drive and there are no designated parking or rest areas for them, they may stop on the side of the road or in other parking sites, which may result in them finding themselves in danger. Truckers should avoid parking in unfamiliar spots.
More parking spots are needed for America’s tireless truckers. Forcing them to keep driving or rest in unsafe spots is simply unacceptable, and hopefully a solution can be found soon.
Where do truck drivers typically park their vehicles?
A truck stop is the most likely site for a trucker to park their rig for the night. Depending on their size, these facilities provide a variety of services. Food and entertainment, power hookups, shower and laundry facilities, and even heating and air conditioning for overnight drivers are all available.
The problem with obtaining parking at truck stops is that they tend to fill up rapidly, with truck stops along busy highways filling up even faster.
Rest stops are another place where drivers can sleep or conduct vehicle safety inspections, but they, too, have challenges with availability. While most trucker rest sites are run by the government, the amenities they provide differ. Even if a driver is able to find a rest area, there may be no electrical hookups or other amenities. This forces drivers to run their diesel engines or power units at night to keep warm or cool.
Finally, the problems are compounded if drivers do not park at an established rest area or truck stop. Drivers risk their own safety by parking on the side of the road, in a commercial parking lot, or wherever they can get their truck in and out of. They are also more likely to get a parking penalty.
Parking a big truck on the side of the road is dangerous and illegal in some places. The trucking industry refers to these as “sitting ducks”. Other vehicles may crash into the parked commercial vehicle with causing horrible or fatal injuries.
Truck drivers spend over an hour each day on average seeking a place to park. According to the American Transportation Research Institute, this corresponds to almost $5,000 in lost wages each year.
Drivers are not motivated to continue in the job because of the disappointment of missed wages due to time spent hunting for parking or paying for citations. In addition to the out-of-pocket costs, the stress of just finding a place to sleep at night could hinder career advancement.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you save time and effort dealing with the insurance company while also increasing the amount of compensation you receive if you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident. An attorney can make sure that your injuries are properly assessed and that you are fairly paid for your losses.
To learn how our knowledge and experience in truck accident lawsuits can work for you, call the Flick Law Firm now at (816) 221-0501 or fill out our online contact form.