Wall Street Journal reported last year on a study which showed there was a significant shortage of truck parking. The Federal Highway Administration conducted the study and the Journal reported on the troubling finds, indicating: "parking shortages that could cause truck to continue driving while tired or to stop and spend the night on road shoulders and exit ramps "are a national safety concern." More than 75 percent of truck drivers who participated in the study said they had a hard time finding a safe parking spot when it was time to rest, and 90 percent of truckers said they had a hard time finding safe and available parking at night.
Because of the shortage of parking, illegal truck parking is so common officials in 48 different states have said they can easily identify locations where illegal parking happens. Officials in 11 states said they knew of at least 11 local places where unlawful parking occurred, with close to half of the unlawful locations found to be freeway ramps while 27 percent of the unlawful locations were freeway shoulders. In some cases, states have begun to crack down on unlawful parking, in part because trucks parked on road shoulders and freeway ramps can cause accidents. Unfortunately, this crackdown is also causing accidents because it encourages fatigued driving.
Parking Crackdown on Unlawful Parking Causes Truck Accidents
Trucking Info reported recently on an accident which happened precisely because the trucker was concerned he would be cited for unlawful parking. The truck driver in this particular case was feeling tired and wanted to stop, but was afraid to because he had heard law enforcement was specifically cracking down on truckers sleeping in their trucks on the sides of freeways. The driver kept driving, and ended up causing a crash which resulted in 50,000 pounds of potatoes spilling onto the interstate.
Luckily, no one was hurt. There is no evidence suggested in the preliminary reports to indicate the truck driver in this case had violated hours of service rules or forged duty longs, but the trucker is likely to still face minor charges for losing control of his vehicle and causing the accident.
Unfortunately, truck drivers can be put into no-win situations. If they stop, they risk being ticketed and potentially causing a crash due to being on the side of the highway where cars don't expect them. If they don't stop, they risk potentially causing a crash because they fall asleep behind the wheel or because they are too tired to pay careful attention as they should.
This problem needs to be addressed with the provision of more safe spaces for truckers so they are able to stop and get rest when they feel fatigued. If more parking spots for truckers to rest were provided nationwide, many truck accidents could be avoided.
An accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin can help victims of injury in El Paso and suburbs including Socorro, Horizon City, and Fort Bliss. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 or visit http://www.michaelgopin.com to schedule your free consultation.