How to Report Unsafe Driving by a Truck Driver
December 12, 2021 / Trucking Industry
Truck accidents are often very serious because the size of trucks means they’re hard to stop, hard to steer to avoid accidents, and more likely to cause serious injuries when they do crash. While many truck drivers take their safety obligations seriously, others disregard the safety rules designed to protect themselves and others. Often, this isn’t just due to a driver’s lack of care but because a trucking company is putting profits over safety. If you’ve observed unsafe driving by a truck driver, you can report it before they injure someone.
How to Report Unsafe Driving by a Truck Driver
There are three main ways that you can report unsafe driving by a truck driver.
- Calling the trucking company. You’ve probably seen the “How’s my driving?” stickers on a truck. Even if a truck doesn’t have one of those stickers or other contact information, you can still look up the company and call them. What will happen next will vary. Some companies take safety complaints very seriously and will discipline the driver or at least record the incident to see if they get any other complaints about that driver. Other companies may ignore your complaint or not take the action they promised you. The business owners and managers that do take complaints seriously will appreciate your giving them the opportunity to correct the issue. You may also prefer this option if you think something needs to be addressed but isn’t serious enough to go to law enforcement.
- Calling the police immediately for an active violation. If there is a truck driver who is creating an active safety risk, you can call the police immediately. They may have an officer in the area who can try to intercept the truck. You might do this is if a driver appears to be drunk, isn’t maintaining their lane, makes multiple aggressive passes, or does anything else that makes you think they’re about to cause an accident.
- Reporting unsafe truck drivers to the government. You may observe unsafe actions by a truck driver that don’t warrant immediate police intervention, or there may not have been an officer available. The United States Department of Transportation takes complaints about truck drivers that operate across state lines. The Indiana Department of Transportation takes complaints about truck drivers that operate within Indiana. When truck driver violations aren’t observed by law enforcement, it might take multiple complaints to establish a pattern that the state can take action on. Instead of discouraging you from making a complaint, this should show the importance of making sure that you do report unsafe truck drivers so they can be investigated before they hurt someone.
Report Truck Driver
To report a truck driver:
- In an emergency, dial 911. Life-threatening driving behavior is an emergency even if there hasn’t been an accident yet.
- To reach the police without dialing 911, use the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Information Division number 317-615-7373. You can also use the non-emergency number for your local police department (where you’re driving, not where you live).
- You can file a complaint against an interstate truck driver online through the National Consumer Complaint Database. You can also call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238).
- You can file a complaint against an Indiana truck driver through the Indiana Department of Transportation online.
How to Report an Unsafe Trucking Company
Reporting a trucking company for unsafe practices is similar to reporting a truck driver. You would report them to the same places as you would an individual truck driver.
Your complaint should specify why you believe the unsafe practices are being supported or allowed by the trucking company versus being an individual driver’s acting unsafely. For example, you might have seen that company’s trucks repeatedly speed past your home or business, no matter who is driving.
Trucking companies do have responsibility for their drivers. This applies whether they are ignoring safety violations or encouraging safety violations to meet delivery deadlines or other goals. It is possible for a trucking company to be fined or lose its ability to operate if it doesn’t ensure that its drivers are operating safely.
How Do You Report a Trucking Company Anonymously?
When you make a complaint, you might fear retaliation or harassment. You might also just not want to have to participate in any investigation or go to court. At the same time, the truck driver or trucking company has a right to due process. An anonymous complaint may be less actionable if it can’t be independently verified. However, you may choose to remain anonymous.
If you call in a complaint, you have the right to not give your name when asked. However, keep in mind that law enforcement will still have a record of your phone number. If you use an online form, you may be able to omit your personal information. If the contact information field is required, do not give a false name as this could be a crime. You can write something like “Anonymous” if you don’t want to give your name. Mailing a letter is also an option that lets you give as much or as little information as you want.
How to Report a Truck Driver on Drugs
If you believe a truck driver is driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, dial 911. The police will typically send an officer to observe the truck driver and make a traffic stop if appropriate.
If you believe a truck driver is using drugs when not driving but that this may still be impacting their ability to drive safely, you can report the truck driver to the same places that you would for other safety issues. If you’re choosing to report the truck driver to the government rather than their company, it can be better to call. This will allow you to make sure you’re calling the right people to handle the specific situation and allow them to get any additional information they need.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’re looking to report unsafe driving by a truck driver because they’ve injured you or someone you know, contact a truck accident lawyer. Traffic tickets and fines are separate from your right to recover for your injuries. To get compensation for your injuries, you can work with Indiana truck accident lawyer Stephenson Rife. Call (317) 680-2350 to discuss your case and learn more about your rights.