GUEST POST: Safe Parking for Truckers Is Just a Mobile App Away
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In February of 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration placed into effect the Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule, and parking has been a nightmare for truckers across the country ever since. The Final Rule, also known as the 11/14 Hour Rule, limits truck drivers to working a maximum of 14 hours and driving 11 hours before taking a mandatory 10-hour break within a 24-hour period.
While the law does ensure truckers are getting adequate sleep, it has cost many truckers a lot of time, money, and sanity. With trucks required to break for 10 hours each day, it’s a daily race for truck drivers to reach the available parking spots first. A survey of truckers along Interstate 5 revealed that 70% reported to have tried to take a break at a truck stop along the route, but found the stop to be completely full. More than half of those truckers said that similar incidents occurred at least every other day. Another study found that there were 300 truck parking spots on a stretch of I-40 through Arizona and New Mexico for more than 10,000 trucks that passed through the stretch on a daily basis.
The problem lies in the fact that there are more trucks on the road than available parking spots. In 2015, there were 3.56 million class 8 trucks out on the road, and that number is expected to steadily increase to 3.98 million by 2026. Moreover, there are many states like Virginia that prohibit overnight rest area stops, making finding a place to stop all the more impossible.
Thanks to the Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule, when truckers can’t find a parking spot their lives are placed in jeopardy. When a truck driver cannot legally drive any longer after 11 hours of driving and there’s no place to stop, truckers are left to resort to parking at abandoned gas stations, freeway ramps, and industrial parking lots. Many of these locations prove to be very unsafe at night, leaving truckers in a potentially dangerous situation.
In 2009, Jason Rivenburg was robbed and murdered while resting for the night at an abandoned gas station. More recently, in June of 2014, Mike Boeglin was shot and his rig was burned beyond recognition after having to resort to parking overnight at an abandoned factory in Detroit. Action clearly needed to be taken to alleviate this troubling problem, and thanks to the Truck Parking Leadership Initiative, a solution has finally arrived.
The Truck Parking Leadership Initiative — comprised of the American Transportation Research Institute, the American Trucking Association, and the National Association of Truck Stop Operators Foundation — has recently announced they’re releasing a desperately-needed app called Park My Truck to tackle the parking problems the industry is currently facing. Park My Truck will allow truckers to log in and view available parking spots close to their targeted geolocation.
Park My Truck will aid truckers in finding spots they may not have even known were available to them. The Truck Parking Leadership Initiative is also reaching out to parking providers in an effort to create additional parking spots for truckers. If you have parking spots available for commercial trucks, you’re encouraged to contact NATSO at (703)549-2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org to have your parking spaces reported on the app. This is a huge step forward for the commercial trucking industry. Safe parking for truckers is now just an app download away.
The Law Offices of Morgan Adams did not create any of the content or links in this article and does not guarantee the accuracy of any information herein or endorse any products.