Most passenger vehicle drivers pass dozens of trucks each day on highways and roads. While most of these trucks are safe and are driven by responsible drivers, not all are. Some trucks are obviously a danger on the roads, and you may have driven right past these trucks on the road. You may have seen signs of danger – a speeding truck, a truck weaving on the road or taking reckless risks. Do you know what to do if you see an unsafe truck? Doing the right thing can help prevent a trucking accident and may save a life. Here’s what to do:
1) Take steps to keep yourself and your passengers safe. Your first priority should be to avoid a trucking accident. Give yourself extra room and expect the unexpected. Make sure that you and your passengers are all wearing seat belts. Be prepared to drive defensively.
2) Take down truck details. If you are driving with a passenger, ask the passenger to note the license plate number of the truck, as well as the company name and number on both the cab and the trailer, if possible. Keep in mind that the trailer and cab might be from different companies. If you are driving alone, pull over to jot down the information or call it in to a cell phone.
3) Gather evidence if you can. If you are driving with a passenger, consider using a cell phone or digital camera to take pictures of the truck. Do not get closer to the truck in order to do so, however. Maintain your distance. Have your passenger note the date, time, road area, and any other significant details.
4) Contact authorities. If you suspect a truck driver is under the influence, you can prevent a drunk driving accident by contacting the authorities at once. Pull over and call 911 to report the driver and the truck. If you notice a truck making a few dangerous mistakes and don’t feel that there is imminent danger, use the contact information on the truck to contact the trucking company. Follow up to ensure that some action has been taken following your report.
5) Avoid the driver. Do not confront the driver, beep, or wave at him. If the driver is under the influence or is aggressive, this could provoke more aggressive driving – possibly targeted at your smaller vehicle. Maintain a safe distance. If a truck is following you and acting aggressively, drive down different streets until you find a bridge, covered parking lot or other more secure area where the truck cannot follow you. Then, contact authorities.