Here’s something most people don’t think about, but for those truckers who’ve ever tried to find a parking spot, this is a relevant issue: parking. Just like cars in busy cities have a hard time finding a parking spot during the day, so do truckers with their oversized trailers.
It turns out that there are too many semitrailers on the road and not enough parking spots for them. The statistics don’t lie. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s count of trucks registered across the country grew from 8.2 million in 2004 to 10.6 million in 2013. Did the number of parking spots increase, too, to keep up with those numbers? Nope. The result has been bad news, as drivers are forced to spend more time on the road because they can’t find a place to park. There’s nothing worse than a tired driver who just wants to park and rest but can’t find a spot. The lack of parking spots correlates with an increase in truck accidents. Ohio, for example, saw a record of nearly 21,300 truck crashes last year, involving 143 fatalities. Lack of places to park is a real problem for the trucking industry.
Unfortunately parking for semitrailers is all too often an afterthought. Truck stops and rest stops easily get filled up these days, and then truckers are forced to look elsewhere for a place to pull over, rest, eat, nap, and/or sleep. But where? It’s very hard to find a space that’s open to large trucks and trailers with property owners willing to let them park there. Basically, the trucking industry needs to consider both short term and long term solutions to the serious lack of parking available from coast to coast.