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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Powell

Where in Missouri Can You Legally Park Your Semi Truck to Rest?

Missouri has several welcome centers, rest areas, and truck-only parking locations across the state.

These facilities are set up to help travelers take time off the road to rest.

What Does the Law Say About Semi-Trucks Parking on the Highway?

What Does the Law Say About Semi-Trucks Parking on the Highway?

The spaces on the shoulders of public highways are created for emergency stops alone.

These are not parking spots for semi-trucks or other vehicles like many assume.

Truck drivers are regulated by the Federal Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or equivalent laws adopted by the state.

Parking on the shoulders of highways is addressed by federal regulation, 49 CFR 392.22.

This law only allows commercial vehicles or big rigs to park on the road under the following conditions:

  • The truck driver turns on the hazard lights on the trailer to give approaching drivers a warning signal.

  • Warning flashers should remain on until the driver places a warning device on the road.

  • All warning devices must be set up within 10 minutes after the driver parks on the shoulder of the highway.

  • The approved warning flashers for trucks that stop on the shoulder of highways include red flags, fuses, flares, and reflective triangles.

  • A warning device should be placed on the traffic side of the truck. It should be four paces away in the direction of on-coming vehicles.

  • Another warning device must be placed 40 paces from the truck in the direction of on-coming vehicles.

  • The driver should place the last one 40 paces from the truck in a direction opposite oncoming traffic.

  • If a trucker stops within 500 feet of a curve or hill, the warning signal they put up has to be 100 to 500 feet in the direction of the obstruction.

  • Warning devices that produce flames should not be used near a truck leaking gasoline or combustible liquids and gas.

Trucks can stop on the shoulder of a highway if the driver follows the protocols listed. This ensures the safety of other vehicles using the road.

Drivers should note that this doesn’t permit them to park and sleep. They are only allowed to stop to repair a broken down truck.

Failure to follow these rules means a driver can be held liable for injuries or deaths from accidents related to their truck.

What Is a Rest Area?

These facilities are set up near highways or expressways to enable travelers to eat, rest, or refuel without moving too far away from the main road.

What Are the Missouri Rest Area Rules?

Missouri doesn’t have specific laws for its rest areas. However, there are signboards at most of the rest areas that encourage the following regulations:

  • Bins are for litterbags and park use alone

  • No open fires

  • No trading on premises of rest area

  • Vehicles should park in designated areas

  • Pets should be put on a leash

  • Pet owners should control and clean up after their pets

  • Livestock is not allowed out of trucks

  • Drivers are not allowed to dump their holding tanks

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is responsible for setting up these signs in the rest areas.

How Long Can a Person Stay at a Missouri Rest Area?

No law specifies how long a person can stay at a Missouri rest area. Travelers can remain at a rest area as long as they want. The most vital factor is that they rest well enough to safely continue their journey.

Is Overnight Parking Allowed at Missouri Rest Areas?

Overnight parking is permitted in Missouri rest areas. Most of these establishments operate 24 hours a day. Truck drivers get there at night and park for the night. These drivers can choose to use a room at the facility or sleep in their vehicles.

Is Camping Allowed at a Missouri Rest Area?

Camping is allowed in Missouri rest areas as long as they don’t go on till morning. Travelers who plan to have overnight activities are to limit their activities to the inside of their vehicle.


Truck drivers should get enough rest to ensure they drive safely on highways. They can be held liable for negligence if they get involved in a crash due to fatigue. That is why they need to be responsible with driving commercial trucks and that includes getting a state inspection on their truck in Missouri and getting a CDL test to operate a truck in Missouri.

Victims of truck accidents deserve compensation for injuries and other types of losses. Powell Law Firm has a St Louis MO truck accident attorney ready to advise these injured persons on how they can file legitimate claims.

Call us at (314) 470-1374 or visit our office in St. Louis.

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