Commercial drivers must take breaks and rest after a certain number of hours on the road. These are Hours of Service regulations, which attempt to keep drowsy drivers and drivers using dangerous substances to stay awake off the road.
Unfortunately, the HOS regulations are creating another issue: parking challenges. While it may not seem like parking problems could threaten the lives of truckers and motorists, one report reveals the connection.
Explaining the parking problem
Due to the HOS regulations, many commercial drivers must stop and park to rest at least once during a trip. They are supposed to find spots in safe, authorized areas along their route.
However, there are not enough parking spots to accommodate all the drivers who must stop. And finding an available spot while on the road can be an incredible challenge.
What this means for motorists
Drivers who struggle to find parking may stay on the road longer than they should looking for a place to park. This can make them tired and result in a violation of HOS regulations.
Truckers can also experience health problems. According to a white paper from Trucker Path, roughly 86 percent of drivers surveyed say that finding parking is the most stressful part of their job. Adding more stress to this already-challenging occupation puts driver health and well-being in danger.
Further, truckers who do decide to stop when they need to, without a proper parking spot, can risk causing an accident by parking in an unsafe place, like an exit or on-ramp.
Numerous solutions have been offered to address this troubling issue. Adding parking spots in more locations across the country is the most practical solution, and that is in progress. Other solutions include utilizing apps to locate parking spots as well as better advanced planning when it comes to mapping routes and parking before a trip.
Unfortunately, the problem persists. And this means that there can be drowsy, stressed, frustrated drivers behind the wheel, which could lead to trucking accidents involving other vehicles. Should this occur, accident victims and their families may want to examine their legal options for compensation, as the damages suffered in these situations can be extensive.