Many road users may not be aware of the dangers of commercial truck parking. However, it's forcing many truckers to stop on the sides of ramps. This has led to dangerous situations leading to serious and fatal truck accidents.
In 2021, The American Trucking Association pointed out that for every 11 trucks, there is only one rest area parking space. This leads to trucks parking on the freeway, rest stop shoulders, and congesting roads leading to rest stops.
The truck accident attorneys at Tracey Fox & Walters have seen devastating underride crashes occur in Texas due to this issue. This occurs when a smaller vehicle crashes under the side or back of a trailer. These crashes are rarely survivable and often result in severe and debilitating injuries.
Tragedies involving lack of truck parking
One tragedy involved Mario Gonzalez. He lost his life in July when his vehicle collided with a parked semi-truck on a rest stop service road near Interstate 37 in Texas. Mario Gonzalez's daughter, Lori, spoke about the devastating loss her family has experienced due to her father's fatal crash.
"Losing (Gonzalez) has left a hole in our family, a hole that nothing's going to fill," said Lori, per CBS News. " There are a lot of regrets that I didn't have that opportunity to have some conversations that I needed to have with him. And now I never will. So I have to live with that every day."
A similar crash in Illinois claimed three lives when a Greyhound bus collided with several parked big rigs along a rest stop access road.
How lawmakers are responding to this issue
The lack of truck parking has caught the attention of lawmakers. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg highlighted that this issue affects the quality of life for truck drivers and poses a safety risk to the entire transportation system.
When addressing the issue, Buttigieg stated, "I know that truck parking is an issue that most Americans probably don't think about every day—but it's vitally important one. And I want to say just a few words about why it ranks so highly on our list."
A bill authored by Congressman Mike Bost seeks to provide $755 million to states for expanding truck parking. However, it currently remains pending in Congress.
In a statement, Bost said, "By expanding access to parking options for truckers, we are making our roads safer for all commuters and ensuring that goods and supplies are shipped to market in the most efficient way possible. This is a matter of public safety; and I'm committed to do all I can to drive this legislation over the finish line."
In the meantime, the Department of Transportation is offering over $80 million in grants to some states to address the shortage of truck parking spaces and enhance highway safety.
Get legal help from our attorneys after a truck accident
A crash linked to a lack of truck parking can be devastating. You may be dealing with a severe injury that requires months (possibly years) of treatment and rehabilitation. Or you may have lost a loved one in a truck accident. The truck accident lawyers at Tracey Fox & Walters in Texas understand the pain that you're going through. We're committed to helping our clients seek the justice, accountability, and financial compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a truck wreck, contact us today to review your potential legal options. We can listen to what happened, answer any questions you have, and provide you with the information you need so that you can decide how you want to move forward. With law offices in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, we proudly serve clients across Texas.