Have you ever seen a truck driver do something shockingly dangerous on California’s roads? If so, you’ve probably wondered if they’ll ever get caught for their unsafe driving.
Good news: You have several options for addressing dangerous trucker behavior. Here’s what you need to know about reporting truckers who are bad drivers.
Option 1: File a Complaint With the FMCSA
The first option you have is to file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is the federal regulatory agency that keeps track of trucking across the United States.
You can either call them directly at 888-DOT-SAFT or you can fill out their online complaint form. This can be an effective approach because when you submit an FMCSA compliant, it becomes part of the company’s permanent record. It’s also filed in the National Consumer Complaint Database.
THE FMCSA investigates every complaint and makes an effort to make sure our roads and highways are as safe as possible. So this is a good route to take if you want to make sure something is going to happen with your complaint.
Option 2: Contact the California Highway Patrol
When you’re dealing with an unsafe trucker in the State of California, you can also file a complaint with the California Department of Transportation and/or the California Highway Patrol. These agencies are in charge of road safety for everyone in the state, including truckers and non-truckers alike.
As you’re making a report to one of these agencies, provide as much information as possible. Tell them the truck’s license plate number, any company name or logo you saw on the side of the truck, a description of the truck, and what the driver was doing wrong.
If possible, provide the trucker’s DOT number, which is usually located on their driver’s side door. Make sure you also let them know precisely where the incident occurred, including any road names and nearby road signs you could see.
Option 3: Report Them to Their Employer
Another option is to report the trucker to their employer. Trucking companies get severe penalties for road violations, so they might be motivated to get a bad employee off the road as quickly as possible.
Look at the back of the truck and see if there’s a “How’s My Driving?” sticker with a phone number. These hotlines usually go straight to the trucking companies, so you can make an immediate report to someone who’s able to investigate what’s going on.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that a trucking company will do anything about a dangerous truck driver. A trucking company might be motivated to cover up instances of their drivers’ bad behavior to avoid public scrutiny and costly penalties.
Option 4: Take Legal Action After an Accident
Were you injured by a trucker who was driving dangerously and caused a crash? In California, it’s your right as an injured person to start an insurance claim or lawsuit after many types of truck accidents.
- Vehicle sideswipes typically happen when a fast-moving truck slides into another vehicle, knocks them off the road, or causes a rollover.
- T-bone crashes with big trucks can be deadly, often happening at intersections and causing severe injuries.
- Blind-spot crashes are also common because big trucks typically have blind spots that are at least 20 feet wide to the sides and rear of the vehicle.
- Pedestrian, scooter, and cyclist accidents can occur when truckers don’t see smaller vehicles and people nearby.
- Back-up/back-over crashes can happen when inexperienced truckers have trouble backing up their big trucks in tight spots.
Plus, truckers can be drunk drivers, drugged drivers, distracted drivers, and road ragers just like anyone else. Did the trucker in your accident do something dangerous like speeding, swerving, tailgating, failing to yield, or intentionally slamming on their brakes?
How to Handle the Aftermath of Your Accident
If you were injured by an unsafe truck driver, reach out to the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We can help you make a report to the proper authorities and start a claim that covers your medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, and other damages.
We’ll be by your side with experience and wisdom because we’ve handled hundreds of these accidents. Our truck accident lawyers know how to hold trucking companies and their employers responsible for the damage they do on California’s roads.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of personal injury claims, including unsafe trucker accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.
The first option you have is to file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is the federal regulatory agency that keeps track of trucking across the United States. You can either call them directly at 888-DOT-SAFT. Or you can fill out their online complaint form. The really cool thing about filing a complaint with this group is that when you submit a complaint it becomes part of the trucking company’s permanent record and the National Consumer Complaint Database. So, they’re investigating every single complaint to make sure that the roads and our highways are as safe as possible. So, it’s not like your complaint is falling on deaf ears. Something is definitely going to happen with that complaint.
If you’re dealing with an unsafe truck in the State of California, you can also file a complaint with the California Department of Transportation or the California Highway Patrol. Both of those are agencies that help to regulate and keep the highway safe when it comes to trucks.
The final way that you might be able to report a complaint is if you see on the back of the commercial vehicle, the How’s My Driving sticker. Sometimes that links to the company directly, so you can just call the number on the back and let them know, “Hey, I saw this truck,” give them the truck number and that sort of thing and they can look into it on their end.
Some common things that you can report when it comes to unsafe driving are speeding, swerving, failing to yield to other vehicles, following too closely, camping out in the left lane, which is that fast lane when they’re not passing, and also just generally reckless driving. And then, the information that you should try to give any of these agencies when you are reporting some kind of unsafe driving is a description of the truck, the logo or company name on the truck, the license plate number, or the Department of Transportation number which will be, if you’re on the highway, look at the next truck you see, there’s going to be a little section for this. Usually it’s right on the door, the driver door that’ll have the DOT number. A description of the driver, the location, date and time of your complaint. And also, just a general description of the unsafe behavior.