A study from Oregon State University’s College of Engineering has drawn a link between specific types of at-fault truck crashes and inadequate truck parking.
The study was conducted over a seven-year period on a 290-mile stretch of Hwy 97, which runs the entire north-south distance of the state along the eastern slope of the Cascade Range. It estimates lack of truck parking in the state costs the industry $75 million.
“Current crash data collection forms don’t have an explicit section for truck-parking-related crashes, but we can operate under the assumption that,” said the study’s lead author, Salvador Hernandez, a transportation safety and logistics researcher at Oregon State.
“Around the country, commercial drivers are often unable to find safe and adequate parking to meet hours-of-service regulations,” Hernandez said.
The study, reports Truck News, also looked at what other states were doing to address the issue, surveyed more than 200 truck drivers, and assessed current and future parking demand on Hwy 97.
“… if we do nothing to address the problem and freight-related traffic continues to grow, we’ll face greater truck parking shortages. A possible solution is finding ways to promote public-private partnerships, the state working together with industry,” he added.
And according to Hernandez, waiting for autonomous vehicles to take over is not the answer.
“There are many issues yet to be worked out with autonomous commercial motor vehicles,” he said, “and even if autonomous commercial motor vehicles become commonplace, we’re still going to need truck drivers in some capacity. For now and in the foreseeable future, we need truck drivers and safe and adequate places for the drivers to park and rest.”
Truck parking and rest area shortages are a common problem across North America. In Ontario, the Ontario Trucking Association has been working with the Ministry of Transportation through a series of consultations and studies to address some of these issues in both the northern and other areas of the province.
Currently, OTA and MTO have scheduled a session aimed estimating the specific needs for truck rest areas and parking and additional truck parking in Southern Ontario. Click here to take part.