You might get a little scared when driving alongside an 18-wheeler. It’s a reasonable fear, as you would almost certainly come off far worse if you collide with each other.
It would be reassuring to know that the people driving these massive vehicles have had a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, that is often not the case, and changes to truck stops are making it harder for drivers to get the rest they need to drive safely.
Long-distance drivers used to be able to rely on a network of independently owned truck stops providing adequate parking, good food and many other crucial facilities like showers and laundromats.
Many have disappeared or been replaced by truck stops belonging to a few big chains. Often, the only food available is fast food which does little to provide drivers with the energy they need to sustain themselves on the road. It is also awful for their health when eaten day after day.
With fewer truck stops comes fewer parking spaces
Two things exacerbate this problem:
- Many places where truck drivers pick up or drop off no longer allow them to park overnight
- There are more trucks on the road to cope with people’s love of online shopping
Overall it means finding anywhere to park can be challenging. That may mean drivers need to continue driving longer, even when tired. Or they get a broken sleep after having no option but to stop somewhere less secure.
If a truck driver injures you, seek legal help to discover if tiredness played a factor. You may have more right to compensation for your losses than you realize.