Truck safety violations are infractions of federal and state regulations governing the operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and the trucking industry, such as breaking Indiana’s trucking laws. These violations include many dangerous behaviors, such as actions that violate traffic laws and compromise the safety of others on the road. CMV’s include buses, semi trucks, and other types of trucking companies.
Such infringements, often resulting from a disregard for legal standards or safety protocols, can lead to serious truck accidents and injuries. And if you witness a truck driver committing a violation, it’s important to report it to the appropriate authorities, especially if you’re considering filing a personal injury claim. Here, we’ll provide an overview of what constitutes truck safety violations and the process of reporting them.
More importantly, if you or someone you know was injured by a commercial motor vehicle, Christie Farrell Lee & Bell is here to help you. Please give us a call immediately.
Reporting Process for Truck Safety Violations
While driving the highways of Indiana, it’s not uncommon to encounter large commercial vehicles that are integral to our economy. However, when they fail to adhere to safety standards, the consequences can be threatening for other drivers, including yourself.
Some of the most common truck safety violations involve inadequate truck inspections, exceeding weight limits, hazardous chemical leaks, and lack of safety maintenance. But other common violations are:
- Moving violations; such as speeding, following too closely, improper lane changes, reckless driving, improper turns, and failure to yield the right of way or obey traffic signals.
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle without a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Failing to use seat belts while operating a CMV or driving while using a smartphone.
- Failing to comply with hours of service regulations or falsifying logbooks.
- Neglecting to conduct proper pre-trip inspections.
If you witness a truck driver operating recklessly or unsafely, your first priority should always be to ensure your own safety and that of others around you. Take immediate steps to avoid a potential crash. Once safe, it’s crucial to report the driver to the police. Timely reporting can prevent accidents and save lives, and it also contributes to accountability in the trucking industry.
Reporting to the Appropriate Authorities
To report a violation, you should contact the Indiana State Police (ISP). They are responsible for enforcing transportation safety laws and regulations, including those related to commercial vehicles such as trucks. The police will be able to respond quickly and take appropriate action to prevent an accident.
On the other hand, if you want to report an unsafe trucking company, you can file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is responsible for regulating and enforcing safety regulations for commercial motor vehicles. You can file a complaint online or by calling their toll-free hotline at 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238).
Additionally, you can report a safety violation directly to the trucking company itself, which may begin its own investigation to fix the problem and take disciplinary action against its truck driver if necessary.
Providing Detailed Information
If possible and safe to do so, gather relevant information about the truck before reporting. This includes the truck’s license plate number, USDOT number, the company name or logo on the truck, the location and time of the observed violation, and a description of the specific safety issue.
Remember that the more detailed information you can provide, the easier it will be for the authorities to take appropriate action.
The Process of Reporting: How to Report Truck Safety Violations
If you witness a truck safety violation, follow these steps to report it:
Step 1: Gather Information and Evidence
Collecting evidence such as photos, videos, the license plate number, description of the violation, location, and time of occurrence is very important. This data provides tangible proof of the violation and aids in the subsequent investigation.
Step 2: Identify the Appropriate Authority
Next, it is crucial to determine the correct authority to report to. Depending on the nature of the violation and where it occurred, this could be local law enforcement, state police, or specific trucking regulatory bodies.
As we already covered, if the violation is an active safety hazard, such as a dangerous truck driver, call the police immediately. On the other hand, if you want to report an unsafe trucking company, the best course of action is to file a complaint with the FMCSA.
Step 3: File the Report
The last step is to file the report with all the gathered evidence and information. Ensure the report is as detailed as possible to facilitate a thorough investigation. Then, the authorities will investigate the violation and take appropriate action.
Your Rights After a Truck Accident
If the negligent action of another driver caused an accident and affected you or your loved ones, the Indiana law allows you to claim compensation for injuries and property damage.
The report we just covered in the previous section plays an important role in this seek for justice, as it’s a key element in proving negligence. After you report a truck safety violation that caused harm, the next step is to seek the legal help of a local attorney who can help you hold the responsible accountable.
Seeking Legal Help for Truck Safety Violations
Remember, if you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a truck safety violation, give us a call for legal assistance. CMV’s include buses, semi trucks, and other related company trucks. In this scenario, an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer can help you determine how much is your truck accident case worth, and provide personalized guidance and support throughout the whole legal process. Otherwise, we hope this article was helpful on how to report a truck safety violation when the time is needed.
At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, we have over 40 years of experience representing Indiana citizens in personal injury cases. We can help you fight for your rights and get fair compensation that covers the full extent of your injuries and damages. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let’s discuss your case.