Industry Association: Truck Parking Shortage Worsening, Endangering Drivers
An association of independent truck drivers says despite efforts to provide more parking for truckers to rest, shortages in every state still exist and are worsening.
A spokesperson for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) told an industry publication that efforts to develop apps and other technologies drivers could use were good steps, but a basic lack of safe parking places and concerns about keeping those apps updated in real time were concerning. Without safe places to park, especially overnight, truckers either drive through their mandated rest time or spend night hours in spaces that are illegal and unsafe, including along highway shoulders.
“If you have a driver who is tired or wants to take a break or they are coming up on a federally mandated rest break, they need a safe place to park, Because of the shortage, if they can’t find a parking space, they are put in a no-win situation and have to decide, ‘Do I pull over and park on the highway shoulder? Do I pull over and take a break? Do I keep driving while possibly fatigued in violation of hours of service rules in order to find a legal parking spot,'” the spokesperson said.
A survey completed last year shows the parking shortage has worsened since 2015, and while federal legislation may earmark funding to develop save parking for truckers, it’s not a sure thing.