How To Report an Unsafe Truck Driver in Texas
Truck driving is dangerous work for both truck drivers and other motorists. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, 108,000 injury crashes involved large commercial trucks. About 5,125 people lost their lives in truck accidents that year.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, truck accidents are relatively common in Texas and across the country. Like other motorists, truckers can engage in careless and reckless conduct that puts others at risk, such as:
- Excessive speeding or traveling too fast given road and weather conditions
- Abruptly stopping or accelerating
- Changing lanes quickly and without first checking the truck’s blind spots
- Driving an overloaded tractor-trailer or one with an unsecured load
- Getting behind the wheel without first getting enough sleep
- Operating a truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you observe these driving behaviors, your first priority should be your own safety. Put as much distance between yourself and the careless driver as you safely can. Remember that a truck accident can involve multiple vehicles, so make sure to give yourself plenty of room to stop in the event that a crash does occur.
Reporting Negligent or Reckless Truck Drivers
If you observe a truck driver who is driving in a way that endangers others (either through their negligent or intentional actions), you should consider making a report as soon as you can safely do so. Some company-owned trucks and trailers will have telephone numbers and an identifying number that you can use to call the company.
With these reports, though, it is on the company to decide what, if any, disciplinary action to take against the driver. There may be no way for you to follow up and ensure your complaint is taken seriously.
Instead, you should report dangerous truck drivers to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can make a complaint online or by dialing 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. No matter how you make your complaint, you should be prepared to provide:
- A brief description of the safety violation you observed
- Where the violation or driving behavior took place
- As much identifying information as possible about the truck and its driver
- The company that owns the truck or trailer
- Your contact information
If you suspect a truck driver is an immediate threat to other drivers because, for example, the driver appears impaired, you can dial 911. Doing so will connect you with local emergency services, and they will dispatch law enforcement units to locate and stop the truck.
Why You Should Get Involved in Reporting Dangerous Truckers
Even though the FMCSA makes it easy to report unsafe driving behaviors, you may still resist doing so. You may feel that a trucker who does not pose any immediate danger to you on the road is not your concern. Or you may simply not want to get involved with the hassle of making a report.
However, the only way to make the roads safer is for concerned and observant drivers who witness bad driving to report the issue to the appropriate authorities. Doing so puts pressure on drivers who wish to keep their licenses, as well as the trucking companies that want to avoid fines and other sanctions that could affect their business.
Contact the Truck Accident Law Firm of Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers in Fort Worth for Help Today
For more information, please contact an experienced truck accident lawyer at Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have convenient locations in Bedford and Fort Worth, Texas.