Again and again, serious accidents occur at motorway parking lots and service areas due to trucks and trailers that are parked incorrectly. The ADAC has now determined how big the problem actually is.

The result is alarming: “At almost every second service area, trucks were parked in the highly sensitive entrance and exit areas or on the hard shoulder of the motorway,” the automobile club concluded. According to the ADAC, it checked a total of 96 systems. Trucks were almost always parked in restricted areas, where no stopping was permitted or, particularly dangerously, in the entrance and exit areas of the car park. This regularly leads to serious accidents, especially at night, when car drivers recognize trucks or trailers too late as an obstacle in their own lane when entering the parking lot.

The parking situation was recorded by the testers at the facilities at three different times: at 10 p.m., 11 p.m. and midnight. “The systems were usually completely full by 10 p.m.,” reports the ADAC. The club also recommends significantly expanding the parking spaces and parking guidance systems.

The Federal Association of Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal (BGL) describes the situation: “According to the last official census, up to 35,000 truck parking spaces were missing nationwide in April 2018 – we are currently assuming a lack of 40,000 units,” says BGL board spokesman Dirk Engelhardt FOCUS Online. The greatest deadline stress that truck drivers are exposed to every evening is the search for a free parking space.

“In general, we would like the approval processes for the expansion and new construction of truck parking spaces to be streamlined, which serves to ensure road safety for everyone – only well-rested truck drivers are safe truck drivers,” Engelhardt continued. After all: The financial means for the expansion are provided by the Ministry of Transport. For example, a new truck park with 150 parking spaces was recently opened on the A9.

In the future, there will be another challenge when planning truck parking spaces: Since the federal government wants to switch traffic completely to electric – cars with petrol and diesel engines will no longer be allowed from 2035 – tens of thousands of quick-charging stations will be needed for electric trucks. Currently, only 0.01 percent of all heavy trucks in the transport industry are powered by electricity.

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