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How truck rest stop closures affect all motorists' safety

For truck drivers -- particularly those who travel long distances -- rest stops are places to take a break, use the restroom, get something to eat and drink, stretch their legs and even get some sleep overnight.

Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some state-operated rest stops have been closed. Michigan and Pennsylvania are among those states.

These closures could affect the safety of drivers in all states who share the road with truckers who have traveled through areas where they couldn't find an open rest stop.

Even before the pandemic, almost 80% of truckers reported to the Department of Transportation (DOT) that they had difficulty finding a place to park for the night. Now with these closures, coupled with more trucks on the road delivering replenishments of goods that are flying off of the shelves, the problem can only get worse.

Pennsylvania reopened a number of the rest stops it initially closed after pressure from the American Trucking Association (ATA) and drivers across the country. Much of the nation's freight moves through that state's roads.

As a spokesperson for the ATA says, "Truck drivers are currently out on highways all across the country delivering food, fuel and medical supplies to beat back this crisis. While they may be working tirelessly, drivers do need to park, rest and take advantage of the facilities at rest areas so we are pleased to see these facilities being reopened for America's truck drivers."

If you've suffered injuries in a crash caused by a drowsy, distracted or otherwise negligent truck driver or as the result of a truck that wasn't properly maintained, you may be dealing with the consequences for many years. It's essential to get the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses.

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