Many states utilize variable message signs to give commercial truck drivers information on available truck parking, including the distance to the parking area and the number of parking spaces open.
While 70% of drivers surveyed by the American Transportation Research Institute in 2019 indicated they’ve seen message signs with truck parking information, just about 66% of long-haul drivers indicated that they were useful for finding parking.
Newer drivers found truck parking VMS more useful than drivers with 11 or more years of driving experience. Anecdotally, the degree of usefulness of the data likely relates to the degree of perceived accuracy of the technology, ATRI officials said in a recently release report, which summarizes the results of a 2019 survey of more than 1,100 drivers.
For all respondents, the accuracy of truck parking VMS was perceived as extremely important. And the majority of long haul, inter-regional and regional operators found them accurate.
Almost 47% of respondents reported taking action based on VMS, while about 53% of respondents reported they do not take action.
About 14% of drivers rely exclusively on variable message signs to access truck parking availability, and nearly 33% use both truck parking apps and variable message signs, according to ATRI.
Ohio, Kentucky, Florida and Michigan were the states listed with the most frequent sightings of VMS.
In 2019, ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee developed and conducted the truck driver survey online and at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The results were released as a report on how truck drivers currently use truck parking availability systems, and their perspectives on how truck parking information is distributed.