Can Trucks Park on the Side of the Road?
Driving down any major highway you will probably see a line of tractor-trailers sitting and parked on the side of the road. In some cases, these vehicles are on the shoulder of the highway because they are broke down, however, it is often common for a driver to pull on the side of the road and use the shoulder as a sort of rest stop.
However, this has become a problem for many drivers and has lead to many accidents throughout the country.
Trucks on the Side of the Road Lead to Accidents
Truckers who park their vehicles on the side of the road have been a problem for decades. This has been noted by hundreds of accidents. For example, in early 2015 an accident on I-95 in Lawrence New Jersey was reported when a car when off the road and hit the rear of a parked 18-wheeler. The truck driver was not pulled over because his truck was not working properly, but was pulled over to take a break from driving. New Jersey like many other states has determined that this is not the reason for the shoulder of the road.
In accordance with … NJSA 39:4-138.1 … Stopping or standing is prohibited at all times except in the case of emergencies due to mechanical breakdown, tire trouble, lack of fuel … along both sides of I-95, including all ramps and connections.”
Many of the reasons for enacting these laws is that when a driver pulls their truck on the side of the road to run into a store or use the restroom, they can leave others on the road in danger. These trailers often create very dangerous blind spots and obstructions for other drivers. In addition to blocking parts of the road and essential traffic signs, when these vehicles are parked in more residential areas, they can block oncoming traffic and pedestrians from other motorist’s line of sight.
Why do Trucks pull on to the side of the Road?
Many people may be wondering why a driver may pull onto the side of the road if their vehicle is functioning properly. Often a truck driver will pull his or her vehicle onto the shoulder or side of the road to rest, complete log books and delivery receipts, text on their cell phone, or talk on their phone. Other common reasons why a driver may pull on the side of the road include stopping at a convenience store, use a restroom, or buy supplies. However, one of the biggest reasons why a driver pulls on the side of the road, and something that has been the source of much debate, is because they do not want to violate their hours of service requirements.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues hours of service regulations and mandates that drivers only drive a certain amount of time before they are required take a break. In many cases, for a driver to be absolutely compliant with these standards, they must pull onto the shoulder of the road, even if their rest stop is a few miles away.
This problem is balanced by the intent of these hours of service requirements, which are meant to reduce the number of accidents caused by driver fatigue. Since there is a direct correlation between the lengths of time that a driver is on the road, and the likelihood that they will be involved in an accident. Drivers are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. The 14-consecutive-hour driving window begins when you start any kind of work. Once you have reached the end of this 14-consecutive-hour period, you cannot drive again until you have been off duty for another 10 consecutive hours, or the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Have you been in an Accident with a Tractor Pulled on the Side of the Road? Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
If you are a driver and have been involved in an accident with a truck that was improperly pulled on the side of the road, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Many of those who are injured because of a big truck or tractor-trailer do not know who to turn to or how they should begin the process of trying to recover for their injuries. The Truck Accident Team has almost four decades of experience helping injured people just like you. Contact a truck accident lawyer today to see how we can make our experience and expertise work for you. You only pay if we win and there’s a financial recovery. Call (215) 709-6940 or email us.