When it is time for truckers to take a break or end their shift, they must find parking as quickly as possible. Automobile drivers may think this is an easy task. However, the truth is that finding parking spaces that can fit large trucks is extremely challenging.
Many people are unaware of this, but the trucking industry in Chicago as well as the rest of the country has a parking shortage. This means that truck drivers frequently become stressed and frustrated not knowing what to do when they need to take a break, park, or pull over to end their shift. If you are wondering why this shortage is occurring, the simple answer is that there just are not enough areas that provide parking for large trucks around the country.
Due to this shortage, truckers can spend an hour or more looking for somewhere to pull over to take a break, eat a meal, and even to sleep for the night. Since the trucking industry continues to expand, this issue is expected to become even worse in the future.
How serious is the truck parking shortage and what is being done about it?
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration states that the truck parking shortages across the United States are a “national safety concern.” Therefore, this is a very serious issue as “the demand for truck parking will continue to outpace the supply of public and private parking facilities and will only exacerbate the truck parking problems experienced in many regions.”
An article released by Heavy Duty Trucking stated that the Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, met with various individuals during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week to discuss one of the most concerning issues for truckers, which is inadequate truck parking. The president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations explained that one of the ways they wanted to thank the truck drivers around the country is by showing that they are aware of the truck parking issue as well as develop solutions to solve it.
The Biden-Harris Administration is investing $80 million in truck parking lots and spaces. As a result of this money, several projects are currently under construction around America with objectives to increase parking lots and spaces for commercial trucks and 18-wheelers. The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act is another solution proposed in early 2023. If this Act goes into effect, it will provide over $750 million to help develop parking lots and spaces for trucks.
Three dangers of inadequate truck parking
Many people may think that it is just a minor inconvenience for a trucker to not be able to find adequate parking. However, this is actually a very dangerous matter that can have severe consequences for not only truck drivers, but also for other drivers on the roads. Here are three dangers of inadequate parking:
- Tired truck drivers are required to keep driving: When a truck driver decides that it is time to find parking to end their shift, they may make their way to a nearby rest stop. Their plan may be to sleep, as most truckers work 10-hour shifts before they pull over or park. Therefore, they are often tired, exhausted, and ready to call it a night by the time they start looking for a parking space. However, if they cannot find a space, they are required to keep driving. This can be very unsafe for the truck driver and others on the road. The reason for this is because driving while tired or fatigued can cause a trucker to be less alert, have difficulties concentrating, and even possibly fall asleep behind the wheel.
- Truck drivers may have to park in unfamiliar areas: When truck drivers have difficulty finding parking, they may have to park in unfamiliar areas. This can put them in harm’s way. In 2009, a truck driver named Jason Rivenburg could not find parking, which caused him to park in a gas station that had not been in service for years. Unfortunately, this was a very sketchy situation that led to Rivenburg being robbed and murdered before delivering his load to the destination.
- Others become at risk of crashing into a commercial truck: If truck drivers cannot find anywhere to park, they may have no choice but to pull off onto the side of the road. When this happens, they put everyone at risk of crashing into their truck or trailer. In fact, it is not uncommon for automobile drivers to miss a parked semi-truck at night, which may lead to an underride truck accident. Underride truck accidents occur when a vehicle crashes into the back or side of a truck and slides up underneath the trailer. As a result of these accidents, individuals may die instantly or suffer life-threatening injuries that can severely impact their quality of life for many years to come.
Where can truck drivers park their trucks near Chicago?
There are some places where truckers can park their rigs. Secured Truck and Trailer Parking charges a monthly fee, but at least you can park there. AAA Truck Parking is in Merrionette Park, which is about 30 minutes away from the city proper; their prices vary on the size of the rig. To be honest, we have no idea if these are “good” spots for truckers; we just know that they’re the closest ones we could find to the City of Chicago.
If there is no parking available at a rest stop or at a lot for semi-trucks, there may be a few other places that truck drivers can check before making the risky decision to park on the side of a road. Some of these locations include:
- Gas stations
- Shopping malls and centers
- Convenience stores
- Grocery stores, Walmart stores, and Target stores
Even though many stores and restaurants prohibit large trucks from parking in their parking lots, some know and understand the challenges that truckers face just to find parking. They may allow truck drivers to park there for the night.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, the truck accident attorneys at Gainsberg Law are ready and available to help you. Our team will listen to your story, gather evidence to support your claim, determine a fair amount of compensation for your injuries, fight to protect your rights, and prepare a strong case against the defendant. We have been legally helping truck accident victims for over two decades, and we are more than happy to assist you as well. Call our office or fill out our contact form to schedule your consultation at no cost today.
Neal S. Gainsberg has spent the last 20 years fighting to protect the rights of the injured in Chicago and throughout Illinois. From consumer rights and bankruptcy to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, Mr. Gainsberg stands up to large corporations, insurance companies, creditors and hospital administrators to ensure that his clients’ futures are safe and secure. Learn More