According to some experts, the number of Florida truck accidents and car accidents may be caused in part by severe parking space shortages for commercial truck drivers. Statistics show that some roadways, including Florida’s popular Interstate 95, see 1000 trucks or more daily. In many cases, truck drivers need to rest while driving on Florida streets. In places where there are no truck stops or areas for resting, the drivers need to pull over onto an exit ramp or highway shoulder in order to rest. However, experts agree that every time drivers do this, they put other motorists at risk for sideswipe car accidents and other Florida car accidents.
According to representatives with the Florida Department of Transportation, large commercial trucks and tractor trailers can be seen parking all over Florida, including under bridges, in parking lots, in ride lots, along the road, and in other places. That may be about to change — and those changes could reduce the number of Florida car accidents and truck accidents caused by lack of parking spots.
Florida has been awarded $1 million by the Federal Highway Administration to add 90 truck parking spaces near Interstate 595, at a brand-new truck stop. According to the Florida Trucking Association, this is a great move that will give motorists and truck drivers alike a safer place to park than on road shoulders.
According to experts, the new truck stops will also address a basic problem. In 2003, the federal government began to require hours of service restrictions and rest periods for truck drivers. However, in many places there was not adequate space for truck drivers to stop and rest — and the new federal laws did not necessarily create places or designate area where drivers could park safely and rest. This meant that more drivers were parking along roadways and in other areas, which ironically can actually increase the risk of Florida truck accidents and car accidents.
As transportation budgets have been slashed over recent years, many states have also closed existing truck stops, further restricting where truck drivers can stop and rest. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 7% of truck accidents involve driver fatigue. Statistics such as these suggest that more needs to be done to ensure that truck drivers have safe places to rest. U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y has already proposed earmarking $20 million each year to add truck parking across the country and to open more rest stops. The bill introduced by Rep. Tonko is named Jason’s Law, named after a truck driver who was killed while parked in an abandoned gas station.
If you have been in a Florida truck accident, you will need a qualified attorney to stand by your side and to fight for your rights. If you need a qualified Florida personal injury and truck accident attorney, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your case. The Flaxman Law Group is located in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood, making it easy for you to contact the legal team at all times.