The Dangers of On-Street Truck Parking

two burned out trucksThe car was traveling at high speed when it went out of control and struck the parked tractor-trailer. The resulting fire spread quickly, killing the three occupants of the car, and setting a second tractor-trailer with hazmat on fire.

“Despite no parking signs, neighbors said truckers often leave their rigs parked overnight.” WPVI-TV

This early Sunday morning collision in Philadelphia only illustrates the dangers of on-street parking.

Parking commercial motor vehicles (“garaging” to your insurance agent) can be challenging. Many municipal codes prevent overnight parking in residential areas. Some codes ban any standing, stopping or parking for any duration unless loading or unloading or some other work is being performed. Parking in an industrial area may expose the vehicle to theft or vandalism.

New startups like Truck Smart Parking Services are putting together apps and packages to help solve the problem.

In the meantime, I would encourage every carrier to have a clear parking policy. Drivers should be guided by the policy as to what is and what is not acceptable. Drivers may have permission to take their vehicle home and often park near their homes. If they are pulliing a trailer, this means they might park on the street.

These days street parking is not a good option (if it ever was— this is an old problem) because many drivers are distracted while driving or might not be alert to a parked vehicle. It doesn’t matter whose fault an accident was, or how legally parked the vehicle was, when someone gets hurt or worse.

My suggestion here is for management to craft a parking policy that encourages away-from-street parking to the extent reasonably possible, preferably in a secure lot. There are always trade-offs and risks no matter where a vehicle is parked. Choose wisely.

Thank you for reading this.

Related: Positioning the Commercial Motor Vehicle When Stopped


Disclaimer: Reference to any specific product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, company name or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the author.

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