The shortage of parking places for large trucks in Pennsylvania has created dangerous conditions for all motorists. Truck drivers can drive only so far before becoming fatigued and having to stop for necessities such as food, water, gas, bathrooms, and sleep, but the facilities for parking vehicles legally and safely are woefully inadequate.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot), shortfalls in parking capacity in heavily traveled corridors may exceed triple the amount of available parking spaces. On the Pennsylvania turnpike alone, there is a deficit of 890 parking spots for trucks, and frustrated truckers wind up leaving their vehicles wherever they can, usually alongside the highways or on ramps. This creates problems for both truckers and motorists who have to navigate a maze of large vehicles parked where they do not belong. In addition, trucks pulling back onto the road from unsafe parking can cause crashes.
Any crash involving largely trucks is likely to be devastating and result in serious injuries or death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (https://www.iihs.org/iihs), 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or someone has died in a crash involving an illegally parked truck or any other vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, due to the complexity and issues involving these accidents, your case must be handled correctly and competently by an attorney experienced in truck crashes or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.
Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to achieve an adequate settlement. Our skilled and experienced Pennsylvania truck crash attorneys have represented any number individuals who have been injured or killed in vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania. Recently, we settled a death case for a passenger as a result of trucking negligence for $7.5 million.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so contact us at our office or online today.
Parking Shortages and Driver Fatigue
When truckers drive too long without stopping and they become fatigued, their reaction time slows and they are not able to make life-saving maneuvers. They even become more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. Government regulation changes which were intended to enhance safety by preventing truckers from driving beyond the point of exhaustion are actually making the parking situation worse.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations make truckers record how much time they spend on the road and when they take mandated breaks and rest stops. Previously, truckers could log their own hours in a log book and were able to have grace periods to find parking, but now they are required to use electronic log devices that track their time automatically, and the grace period has been eliminated. Since violating the time restrictions can result in expensive fines, the changes have placed a premium on parking spots on or near major trucking routes, and truckers park wherever they can.
We had a case recently in the office where a truck driver took his eyes off the road for a protracted period of time to check his tracking device, which his employer knew was not working properly. Punitive damages were asserted against both the truck driver and the employer.
What Can Be Done With Respect to Parking Issues
This parking problem has existed for a long time, and Pennsylvania is starting to make some efforts to rectify it, including:
- PennDOT is instituting a pilot program to address the truck parking issues, better manage existing truck parking spaces, and provide real time information to drivers on where available spaces are located.
- The department is inviting private companies to come up with ideas on how the state can partner with businesses to address the truck parking issue.
- The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and some townships have adopted a policy requiring developers to include extra truck parking on their development plans.
- Local municipalities and planning commissions are being encouraged to require developers to provide extra parking spots for truckers delivering goods to and from their facilities.
Contact an Attorney at Our Firm
Damages from truck crashes are severe and often fatal. If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a truck crash, you should get immediate legal assistance to protect your rights at every stage of your liability claim.
The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania truck accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.
Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on Financial Responsibility Law in Pennsylvania, which governs many automobile and truck accident cases in the Commonwealth. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years. Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. He is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.
Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields. Cliff Rieders does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
At Rieders Travis, we offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Do not delay. Contact us today by calling or our online contact form to set up your free consultation.
Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.