By Richard Shapiro, Virginia Trucking Accident Attorney
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is calling for a national effort and coalition to address a shortage of parking for truck drivers along the nation’s highways.
A DOT study recently found that a lack of big rig parking is forcing truck drivers to drive when they are tired, or to park their rigs on shoulders and exit ramps, which is a serious safety hazard.
Truck drivers say that the East Coast is the biggest problem, with the Mid-Atlantic states being especially a problem. That includes NJ, NY and PA.
DOT Secretary Victor Mendez stated that he knows that truck parking has been a major problem in our country and new approaches are needed.
Truck drivers currently park illegally, or spend hours looking for a place to park. This leads to shipping delays that tie up the tractor trailer that could be used in another area. If the carrier holds the shipper responsible for the delay, this could cause the carrier to divert the capacity to another customer. They also could increase rates or add surcharges.
Thousands of Americans die each year due to crashes involving tractor trailers. Our truck accident injury lawyers in Virginia have worked on all too many cases where an innocent life is lost because of the negligence of a truck driver. Sometimes, truck crashes occur due to them being parked illegally along the side of the road at night.
We also know of a case where a woman in North Carolina was rear ended by a truck on an interstate and three people were killed. In that case, the truck driver was on the road well past when he should have been, and was driving tired.
We would like to see more efforts made at the national and state levels to provide truckers with more places to park so that there is less chance they will be driving when they are tired.