Illegally parked commercial trucks pose hazards on I-95

Friday December 14, 2012

National trucking regulations require that drivers limit the number of hours they on the road without rest. For cross-country truckers, this often means pulling over at a truck or rest stop. After a string of accidents on I-95, authorities are investigating why so many truckers have parked illegally, finding a shortage of spaces throughout Connecticut and New England.

Earlier this week, a truck driver illegally parked his tractor-trailer on the left shoulder. According to reports, the truck driver was parked off the I-95 interstate near a service plaza next to a “No Parking” sign near the southbound rest area. The driver of a Nissan Sentra was killed after he struck the big rig and the left side of an SUV that was entering the service plaza. The victim’s car was lodged under the truck and Fairfield firefighters had to pull him from the wreckage.

Truckers illegally parking on highway ramps has posed significant dangers to other motorists on the road. Less than 12 hours earlier, a 40-year-old Stamford man was killed near the same spot when another truck was parked illegally. Earlier this month, a car hit a parked tractor-trailer at the rest area on the northbound side of I-95. In that accident, the sleeping truck driver was also killed.

Truckers who were questioned about the string of accidents claimed that there is often not enough truck parking for them to stop legally. This problem is pervasive throughout the region, according to truckers and other authorities. Many of the service areas do not have parking for trucks longer than 48 feet.

In this case, failure to find adequate parking is not a viable excuse against negligence. A trucking company and the trucker may be held liable for deaths related to illegal parking. The drivers and affiliated companies could also be held criminally liable if there is an investigation of misconduct.

Source: Connecticut Post, “Police: Truck illegally parked in fatal accident,” Frank Juliano, Dec. 13, 2012

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