How To Report a Trucking Company to the DOT

reporting a trucking company

Thousands of trucks move cargo throughout the United States every day. These trucking companies must abide by certain regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Under those guidelines, their drivers, other road users, and the general public can stay safe on the road.

But what happens when you witness a violation? Where can you make a report?

At Trucking Injury Law Group, we know unsafe trucking companies operate on the road. By reporting these organizations and their employees, we can make sure that everyone remains safe on America’s roadways.

Let’s look at how you can report these dangerous trucking companies to the Department of Transportation.

Why Reporting Matters

You might think that a simple report will not make a difference. But that’s not true. If you see something hazardous on the roadway, you should make a complaint to the right agency.

Reporting incidents in the trucking industry helps ensure safety and compliance. How many people failed to report a reckless driver, and then that individual has gone on to cause a trucking accident?

By making a report, you can help keep these dangerous drivers and trucking companies off the road, making it safe for everyone.

Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show that reporting incidents is more important than ever. In 2021, there were 5,149 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks, an 18% increase from 2020. Additionally, 110,000 individuals sustained injuries in traffic accidents involving large trucks.

If someone had reported reckless behavior or unsafe transportation practices, they may have prevented one of these accidents.

What Can You Report?

You can report any safety concerns related to trucking companies and transportation services. The Department of Transportation can address safety violations, reckless drivers, and hazardous materials incidents.

Safety violations include hours-of-service violations, inadequate vehicle maintenance, or failure to comply with safety regulations. These violations can put both truck drivers and other road users at risk.

Reckless driver behavior poses risks on the road. It can endanger lives and contribute to accidents. If you have witnessed a company truck speeding, engaging in distracted driving, or appearing to operate under the influence, you can report both the driver and their trucking company.

Hazardous materials mishandling and overloaded trucks can be extremely dangerous, posing a serious risk to public safety. Any spills, leaks, or mishandling of materials during transportation should be reported.

Reporting to the Department of Transportation

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), and is responsible for regulating and overseeing safety in the commercial motor vehicle industry, including trucks and buses.

If you want to report safety concerns about a trucking company to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you will want to make sure they have an accurate report. With your information, the FMCSA investigates and takes effective action when necessary. You have 90 days from the time of the incident to make an official report.

Like any truck accident, you will want to collect as much information about the incident as possible.

You’ll want to note the date of the accident, location details like street or highway, and the name of the driver or trucking company. If you see reckless behavior on the road, make sure to describe that in detail as well.

Any photos or videos of the incidents can also help to move the investigation along with the FMCSA.

If your complaint is related to working with a trucking company, you may want to hold onto any communication records and other relevant documents with the trucking company. These records can help the FMCSA take appropriate action with the trucking company in question.

There are two options:

  • Phone: You can call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238) during business hours (8 am–8 pm, Monday to Friday EST). You will be able to speak with a representative who can take your report and provide guidance on the next steps.
  • Online: You can visit the FMCSA National Consumer Complaint Website to submit your report online. This website allows you to provide detailed information about the safety issue and any supporting documentation or evidence. You will also be able to track the status of your report and receive updates on any actions taken by the FMCSA.

Can You Contact Your State’s DOT?

While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration handles national safety regulations, local DOT offices may have jurisdiction over specific issues within their state. You can visit your state’s official transportation department website to find your local DOT office.

After identifying the correct office, contact them to report safety violations or concerns related to trucking companies. Each state may have a different process and set of requirements for filing a complaint.

Do Reports Help in Truck Accident Cases?

Trucking accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities, and safety violations play a role in establishing liability and determining the resulting damages. Both the FMCSA and state regulations can be used to determine liability in truck accident claims.

If there’s evidence that a truck driver or trucking company violated FMCSA rules, it is considered negligence.  You’ll need to show that that violation directly caused your injuries and establish the resulting damages. Proving a violation of an FMCSA rule or other regulation can be difficult, even after you have made a complaint.

Unfortunately, even if a violation occurred, enforcement action might not be taken against the trucking company or the driver. For that reason, you need a skilled and qualified trucking accident lawyer to help establish the basis of liability in your crash.

They’ll preserve logbooks, review driving data, and interview witnesses. That evidence and your official FMCSA can help set a foundation for your accident claims.

Reporting these safety violations not only impacts legal proceedings but also contributes to preventing future accidents. You can ensure that these trucking companies and their drivers remain accountable for their actions, which can create a safer environment for everyone on the road.

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, make sure to reach out to the Trucking Injury Law Group.

Reporting to the DOT is one step in the process. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one has the right to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses.

Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation.