At The Gogel Law Firm, our St. Louis truck accident attorney knows that a common complaint among commercial vehicle drivers is that there are not enough spots for them to park — in the Midwest and elsewhere across the nation.
According to semi-truck drivers, every year brings the same challenge, only worse, with fewer and fewer places to park. Instead, they are only parking in the rest areas, or the truck stops, they are parking on the off- or on-ramps or on the shoulders of the highway roads, placing everyone on our Missouri roads in danger.
This, they say, can lead to other hazards too, either because they are forced to drive while exhausted or because they cannot stop when they need to, which means they may also be breaking federal hours of service regulations that limit how long they drive before stopping to rest.
Is it Against the Law for Truck Drivers to Park on Highway Shoulders or Ramps?
According to Missouri’s Laws, the spaces on the shoulders of public highways are created for emergency stops alone.
The Code of Federal Regulations only allows commercial vehicles or semi-trucks to park on any part of the road if they follow the proper protocols, including:
- Turning on the trailer’s hazard lights to give approaching drivers a warning signal.
- Warning flashers should remain on until the driver places a warning device on the road.
- All warning devices must be set up within 10 minutes after the driver parks on the shoulder of the highway, including red flags, fuses, flares, and reflective triangles. Warning devices that produce flames should not be used near a truck leaking gasoline or combustible liquids and gas.
- Warning devices should be placed on the traffic side of the truck, four paces away in the direction of on-coming vehicles.
- Another warning device must be placed 40 paces from the truck toward oncoming vehicles.
- The warning signal must be 100 to 500 feet in the direction of the obstruction if a trucker stops within 500 feet of a curve or hill.
Following these federally required safety precautions does not permit commercial truck drivers to park and sleep. They are only allowed to stop to repair a broken-down vehicle. Failure to follow these rules means a driver can be held liable for injuries or deaths from accidents related to their truck.
Have You Been Involved in a Vehicle Collision with a Commercial Vehicle in Missouri?
If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by an illegally parked or otherwise negligent commercial vehicle in Missouri, contact our St. Louis personal injury attorney today to review your case by calling (314) 370-8173 or online to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the liable party or combination of parties for your complete financial recovery needs.