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It seems as if almost every night, I see a picture of two trucks swapping paint in a truck stop on social media. As every driver knows, parking is a serious problem. Thanks to the lack of flexibility ELDs have caused, a lot of truckers are piling in truck stops and parking in ways they shouldn’t because they may not have enough time to make it to a safer place to park.
The easiest option to reduce truck stop mishaps is to park at truck stops that have large lots and angled parking. NASTC (National Association of Small Trucking Companies) cited an insurance study when picking their fuel stops for their fuel program. They were able to identify the truck stop chains that did not have angled parking and therefore had more on-site accidents.
Below is a picture of a large truck stop with angled parking. It was probably late morning when this picture was taken due to the lack of trucks. As you can see, it has a large lot with plenty of room. I prefer the spots on the perimeter where no one can park behind me. I also prefer corner spots on the perimeter where no one can park on one side of me. This further reduces the likelihood of an accident. However, end spots on the middle row are extremely dangerous as the traffic flow will keep trucks going by you all night long and thus increase the chance of a mishap.
The picture below is of a truck stop that NASTC prefers their members to avoid. I have learned to never sleep in a truck stop like this if possible. As you can see, due to the straight line parking, almost every truck has to get into a “jack-knife” position to get parked. This increases blind spots and the chances of an accident.