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Should You Report a Truck Driver Exhibiting Erratic Behavior?

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Should You Report a Truck Driver Exhibiting Erratic Behavior?

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If you find yourself sharing the road with an 18-wheeler or other big truck exhibiting erratic and potentially dangerous behavior, what should you do? Should you report the driver? If so, to who? Should you wait until you arrive at your destination or pull off the road to call the police? These are common and reasonable questions, and knowing the answers can help keep others safe on the road as well as hold 18-wheeler drivers and their companies accountable to follow safe driving practices.

If you witness an emergency situation on the road, pull over in a safe place and call the police.

First and foremost and regardless of whether a large truck is involved in the situation or not, if you witness an emergency situation on the road, pull over in a safe location and call the police to let them know where you are and what is happening.

If you are unsure of what constitutes erratic driving, the following are some common examples:

  • Swerving
  • Driving far below the speed limit
  • Turning abruptly
  • Driving down the center of the road
  • Straddling lanes
  • Driving in the wrong lane
  • Stopping traffic unnecessarily
  • Failing to respond to traffic signals
  • Braking too quickly
  • Unnecessarily aggressive driving

If there is a passenger in the car with you, have them snap a photo of the 18-wheeler.

This photo could capture valuable information, such as the make and model of the truck, a phone number to report bad driving, and an image of the driver. If you cannot take a photo, make a note of the trucking company and any other identifying information on the vehicle.

It is not worth putting yourself at risk to make a report while driving.

Unless it is an emergency situation or you fear a wreck is imminent, it is unnecessary to pull off the road during traffic to make a report. If a passenger is available to take a picture of the 18-wheeler, have them do so and keep this information in a safe place until you are able to stop and call the number of the trucking company to report the driver. It may also be helpful for your passenger to take a video of the truck if the driver’s erratic behavior is still evident. This can serve to hold the truck driver and/or company accountable in the case an accident does occur and they try to shift liability.

If there is no one else in the car to take a picture, take a mental picture and do your best to remember what you can.

Even if you can’t remember the exact phone number or information on the back of the truck, try to remember whatever you can about the way the truck looked, the time the erratic behavior was perpetrated, the company it belonged to, and the location where you were driving when you noticed the erratic behavior. This may be enough to call the trucking company and report the driver who was recorded in that vicinity at the time of behavior.

If the report you make to a trucking company is unfairly dismissed, you may report it to your State Department of Transportation.

If you believe a trucking company is violating safety and traffic rules, you may file a report with your State Department of Transportation to request an investigation into the issue. Additionally, you can contact an attorney to seek legal counsel regarding any other steps you would like to take.

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