With gas prices falling, more and more companies are switching from rail delivery back to trucking for transporting goods. In fact, in 2013-14 (while gas prices were still sky high), trucks transported an astonishing 81% of freight revenues, according to the American Trucking Associations. This number should rise even higher in 2015.
The Wall Street Journal’s Betsy Morris writes, “There aren’t nearly enough legal, safe and well-lit parking places where truckers need them most. Meanwhile, safety regulators have increased the number of times that drivers must stop, park and rest.”
This, horrifically, has led to a wave of murders and robberies in which truck drivers are victimized.
Check out this eerie, detailed account of one such crime from last June…
The last time Ashley Boeglin talked to her truck-driver husband, Mike, he was heading toward Detroit late one night in June to drop off a load of coils at a ThyssenKrupp steel plant.
They discussed their favorite subject—the new baby on the way, “what we needed to get done, what we looked forward to,” recalls Ms. Boeglin, a physical-therapist assistant and athletic trainer in Newburgh, Ind. Then they said goodbye and agreed to talk again in the morning.
But the next morning, Mr. Boeglin’s body was found in his silver Freightliner, burned beyond recognition. The truck had been set afire and left less than 150 yards from the factory gate, according to local police, who say they suspect robbery was the motive. They have made no arrests.
Mrs. Boeglin says she doesn’t know why her husband didn’t stay at a truck stop, but he probably didn’t want to spend money on fuel to get to one or pay an overnight parking fee. She believes that if he had been invited inside the factory’s fenced-in parking lot, “I wouldn’t be going through this.”
This story, of course, is not out of the ordinary as many truck drivers are opting to park behind grocery stores, along the corners of shopping malls, and on highway ramps and shoulders, leaving them open to possible attacks. According to a variety of surveys conducted of truck drivers,
- Approximately 70% said that they had attempted to stop at a truck stop on their route but found it full.
- About 40% of drivers said that, on average, it takes them an hour+ to find parking for the night.
- Approximately 28% of drivers said they occasionally break and/or sleep on highway ramps.
- 52% of drivers said they pull up behind shopping centers.
- 45% of drivers pull up in abandoned gas stations and vacant strip malls.
Without a doubt, this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Instead of enforcing more regulations, drivers need some real representation to help alleviate the problems that are causing them to lose money, and even worse, get harmed while doing their job.