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Reduced Truck Parking Can Increase Highway Accidents

Chester County Truck Accident Lawyers dicuss how reduced truck parking can lead to accidents caused by drowsy driving. According to the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), private sector truck stops provide more truck parking spaces than stops operated by government entities. The group published this finding in the study, Rest Area Commercialization and Truck Parking Capacity 2018, which updates the data the group published about truck parking capacity at commercial rest areas in the United States in 2010.

Commercialization of Rest Areas and Truck Parking

The study found that the private sector provides 90 percent of the truck parking in the United States. In its analysis of more than 12,000 miles of interstate roadways in 13 states, the researchers found that non-commercialized interstate corridors have an average of 6.57 truck parking spots per mile compared with 3.88 truck parking spaces per mile on commercialized interstate corridors. Commercial rest areas are operated by the government and located directly on interstate right-of-ways.

Since 1960, the sale of food, fuel, and other commercial products at rest areas located directly on interstate right-of-ways has been prohibited, but only in states where such commercial operations did not yet exist. In states where commercialized rest areas already existed, they are permitted to continue their operations.

Drowsy Driving is a Serious Issue in the Trucking Industry

Truck drivers are often held to tight schedules. This can lead to driving for prolonged periods of time, causing the driver to become exhausted. Physical and mental exhaustion decreases a driver’s alertness and increases their chance of causing an accident. This causes drivers to drift out of their lane, fail to maintain a safe, consistent speed, and have a delayed reaction time.

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes the federal laws that govern the periods of time truckers may spend driving and when they are required to take breaks. These requirements include:

  • Drivers may not drive past their 14th consecutive hour on duty
  • After 10 consecutive hours off duty, drivers may drive up to 11 hours
  • Drivers may not drive more than 60 hours in a seven-day workweek or 70 hours in a period of eight consecutive days
  • Between workweeks, drivers must be off duty for at least 34 consecutive hours
  • Drivers may only drive if eight hours or less have passed since their last off-duty period of 30 minutes or longer

When truck stops have sufficient parking for tractor trailers, drivers can obtain the rest they need. Conversely, pulling into a truck stop and finding that there is no space to park can mean driving 10 miles or further to find a place to stop, putting a tired driver on the road and increasing their chance of being involved in an accident for a longer period.

Chester County Truck Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims Injured by Drowsy Drivers

Although any drowsy driver poses a hazard to themselves and others on the roadway, drowsy truck drivers can cause more severe accidents that often result in serious bodily injuries and fatalities. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, fill out our online form or call 215-569-8488 to schedule your initial consultation with Chester County truck accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. With multiple offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients from throughout the state, Delaware, and New Jersey.