When an Illegally Parked Semi Causes a Truck Crash

When large 18-wheelers stop on the side of the road or park overnight, truck drivers must obey trucking regulations and implement safety protocols to prevent traffic accidents.

Dangers of 18-Wheelers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations in place to ensure the safety of all drivers on U.S. roads and highways. One such regulation addresses large, commercial 18-wheelers that stop along the highway or park in a manner that can endanger other motorists.

Due to their massive size, FMCSA safety regulations impose specific parking guidelines on large, commercial trucks. Truck drivers are required to follow safety protocols when stopping and/or parking in unexpected areas and conditions:

  • Stopping and/or parking during the day and night
  • Stopping on the shoulder of a road
  • Parking on divided or one-way roads
  • Parking in residential and/or business districts
  • Stopping or parking on a hill or curve
  • Breaking down on a highway, roadway, or city street

Any time a large, commercial truck stops or parks under the above conditions, commercial truck drivers are required to place reflective triangles or flares around the truck so it’s visible to passing traffic. Once the truck stops, the driver must activate the truck’s hazard warning flashers and place warning devices within 10 minutes of the stop. One flare must be placed on the traffic side of the truck facing approaching vehicles, a second flare 100 feet behind the truck, and a third flare 100 feet in front of the truck.

In some cases, commercial trucks may be illegally parked, a major factor in Nevada accidents seen by Henderson truck accident lawyers. When a large, 18-wheeler parks on the shoulder of a roadway or in a residential area, it’s likely jutting out into traffic because of its massive size. This creates a serious accident hazard to passing traffic, especially in dark areas where no hazard flashers or warning devices are activated. If another vehicle crashes into the trailer, the truck driver will likely be held liable for all injuries and property damages caused by the accident.

Because 18-wheelers pose unique accident risks due to their size and weight, they are prohibited in some areas. This generally includes residential areas and any roadways with posted signs indicating that semi-trucks are prohibited due to weight limits. Large 18-wheelers are allowed to park on the shoulder of a highway or use the emergency lane, but only in an actual emergency. Parking in these areas is strictly prohibited.