In a study mandated by Congress, the Federal Highway Administration recently revealed that an overwhelming number of commercial truck drivers struggle to find adequate parking during mandatory rest times. According to the findings, 39% of drivers surveyed reported that they have driven for one hour or more to find parking. Moreover, 88% of drivers surveyed indicated that they have felt unsafe while parked or while waiting to load or unload their cargo within the last year.
The hours of service rule currently in effect requires truckers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of driving, with a longer rest period mandated after driving 11 hours. The rule was introduced by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCAA) in 2013 in an effort to lessen the likelihood of commercial truck driver fatigue. At the time, the FMCAA estimated that the rule change could save 19 lives and prevent approximately 1,400 crashes per year.
Unfortunately, as the demand for parking – in order to comply with the hours of service rule – reaches an all-time high, the volume of freight being shipped on American roadways will only continue to grow according to a joint study by the American Trucking Association and IHS Global Insight. Freight tonnage is projected to rise 23.5% between 2013 and 2025, driven by a surge in freight revenue of 72%. These statistics strongly suggest that the trucking industry and other stakeholders must take meaningful steps to establish dedicated parking space for commercial truck drivers.
Not only are fatigued truck drivers currently staying on the roads longer than they should in search of parking, they are also often being forced to park in an unsafe location, such as an exit ramp or the shoulder of the road. Under either scenario, motorists are at risk. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, contact the experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. The commercial trucking industry is closely regulated, and you may be entitled to compensation. With offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call 800-222-8792 or complete an online form to schedule your free consultation today.