March 13, 2015
Safety regulations put in place to keep motorists safe have forced truckers to stop and rest more often. However, truckers and trucker advocates claim that there just aren’t enough safe places to park to get much needed shut eye. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “There were 2.3 million registered Class 8 trucks” on the roadways last year. Experts expect the number of trucks to continue to rise due to the drop in fuel prices. But researchers have found that the number of semi-trucks on the roadways far outnumber the parking places truckers desperately need. Truckers in California were surveyed and, “70% said they had tried to stop at a truck stop on the route [Interstate 5] but found it full.” Debora da Rocha a trucker in the Northeast said, “If you don’t find a place by 4p.m., you’re in bad shape.”
The Wall Street Journal Reports that when truckers can’t find safe parking places they are likely to push on, or they park illegally, “in secluded areas behind grocery stores, the corners of shopping malls, or freeway ramps and shoulders.” These practices are unsafe not only for the truckers, but for other motorists as well. Truck drivers are being forced to sleep in unsafe areas where they are susceptible to robbery, and motorists are sharing the roadways with sleepy and frustrated truckers. Many believe that the issue is so important that the government needs to step in and alleviate the situation. Others maintain that the free market can respond more quickly and efficiently to the problem. They claim that truck stops should create more parking spaces and that the trucking industry could negotiate more spaces with the truck stops along with the contract they already have for fuel costs.
No matter how the problem gets solved it is becoming increasingly obvious that in order for truck drivers to comply with the new rules regarding sleep more safe parking is necessary. According to the Journal, “By law, they [truckers] must stop at least once every eight hours of driving and quit for the equivalent of a night after a total of 11 hours.” These laws were put in place in order to protect motorists and truckers, and now it’s important to provide parking so that truckers aren’t driving when they’re tired.
Driving while drowsy is dangerous for all motorists, but especially for truck drivers. Passenger vehicles are no match for big rigs, which weigh thousands of pounds, when traffic accidents occur. If you or someone you know was injured in an accident involving a semi you may be entitled to compensation especially if the driver of the semi hadn’t had enough rest. Contact an experienced semi accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group today to make sure you get what you deserve. We have handled these types of complex cases, and can answer your questions. Call anytime at 1-888-436-7539 to speak with us about your situation. You can also reach us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your case. We work on a contingency fee basis, and there’s never a charge for a consultation. Call Hensley Legal Group today, and let us help you with your accident.