Truckers have spent years and years complaining about the number of parking spaces available for trucks. Unfortunately, this dilemma is rather common among the nearly 4 million American truckers. Its become extremely challenging for truckers to find an authorized parking spot, especially in densely populated areas.
Although many trucking companies and organizations have advocated for more spaces available, they have yet to be successful. Moreover, the problem is only getting worse with time.
In this article, we’ll discuss the truck parking shortage happening now in the US. Also, we’ll touch on how its affecting the stress and safety of drivers.
Truck Parking in America
Currently, there are around 3.5 million truck drivers in the US, and only 300,000 available parking spaces. This problem has worsened over the past several decades and has led to a nationwide truck driver shortage.
Not only has the parking situation caused stress and anxiety, but it’s putting drivers in a dangerous situation. Due to the lack of spaces, truckers are resorting to parking in unauthorized areas. This is putting truckers and others drivers on the road at risk.
In order to address this problem we need more parking spaces to accommodate the number of truck drivers in the industry.
The Leading Cause of Truck Driver Stress
The truck parking shortage happens to be the leading cause of stress and anxiety for the majority of truck drivers, according to the ATA. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes many are leaving the industry.
According to research done by the ATRI, the average time truck drivers spend searching for a parking spot is one hour. This means drivers are losing close to $5,000 a year. Not only this but it decreases the company’s overall productivity levels since so much time is spent searching for available parking.
Sometimes in an attempt to get an authorized parking space truck drivers are stopping their trip 2 hours in advance to begin their search.
Safety Concerns for Truckers
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) states that there must be safe and secure places for long-haul truck drivers to park overnight. These parking spots should be located close to the interstate for easy and quick access.
As stated above, it can take an hour or longer for truckers to find available parking. This makes obeying the Hours of Service requirements hard to fulfill. Many drivers stress about going over their permitted driving time before they’re required to take a break. Therefore, many drivers are put in unsafe and uncomfortable situations.
Some drivers as a result are forced to park in areas that are run-down, remote, or poorly lit since they can’t find available legal parking. In fact, almost 60% of truck drivers admit to parking in illegal spots a few times a week due to the parking shortage.
This poses a serious safety concern to the truck driver and their cargo.
One of the main causes of the current truck parking shortage is the increasing number of truckers on the road in the US. Currently, there’s only parking for around 300,000 trucks with 36,000 of them located in rest areas. This shortage is causing a lot of stress among truck drivers and nearby communities.