America relies on truck drivers to transport all types of goods from coast to coast. Without them, the nation would literally crumble. Needless to say, Americans really owe truck drivers a debt of gratitude. Unfortunately, however, these noble blue-collar workers aren’t receiving the thanks that they most certainly deserve, which is evidenced by several issues that have been plaguing American truck drivers in recent years. While there are several items on that list of issues, there’s one that tops the list that many people don’t realize – and that may come as a surprise. What is it? Truck parking space shortages. That’s right, across this great nation, truck drivers are dealing with a scarcity of secure and easily accessible parking spots.
How Many Truck Parking Spots Are in the US?
While truck parking shortages may be news to many, finding a place to park is actually anything but new. In fact, the truck parking problem has been a problem for a decade or more. Jason’s Law highlights this problem.
The law, which was named in honor of Jason Rivenburg, a truck driver who was murdered after he was forced to park at a deserted gas station when he was unable to locate a safe overnight parking space in 2009, was adopted in 2012. Jason’s Law was the last notable piece of federal legislation to attempt to address the lack of safe parking spots for truck drivers. While numerous establishments have attempted to address the issue since Jason’s Law was installed, sadly, the scarcity of safe truck parking spots has only increased.
The Latest Truck Parking Stats
With support from the Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation, Jason’s Law conducted a national survey that assessed the state of truck parking in the United States. The survey, which came to a close in 2020, found that safe and accessible parking spots in America are indeed a serious problem. The shocking findings of that survey included the following:
- More than 90 percent of truckers stated that they had a hard time locating a safe parking space between the hours of 7:00 pm and midnight.
- More than 75 percent of truckers stated that they had difficulties locating a secure spot to park when they needed sleep at least once a week, regardless of the time of day.
- Across the United States, there were only 313,000 designated parking spaces to serve the roughly 3.5 million truckers.
- Freeway ramps and shoulders, public and private parking lots, and local roadways were unofficially the most commonly used – and hazardous – parking space used by truck drivers.
- Of all 50 states, Illinois, Maine, and Ohio has the lowest number of parking spots per 100,000 daily miles traveled by truckers.
The American Trucking Association found that truckers spend about 56 minutes looking for parking spots. As a result, the amount of time spent looking for parking spots costs the average driver roughly $5,500 annually. This equates to a pay cut of about 12 percent per driver.
The amount of time spent searching for parking and the financial losses combined has led to increased frustration among truckers. The lack of parking spots for truck drivers is believed to be one of the leading factors contributing to the shortage of truck drivers across the United States.
Truck Parking in America
Clearly, the lack of safe and easily accessible truck parking spots is a serious problem; a problem that not only affects truckers. This problem affects the entire nation, as businesses and the average person are so reliant on the cargo that truck drivers transport. While the issue has been receiving attention from the government on both the federal and state level, as well as from private businesses, it remains a serious issue that will take a lot of time and money to correct.
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