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Give Me a Gut Check

What if you were traveling on the Interstate during a rain storm with poor visibility and you noticed an 18-wheeler that was tailgating several cars. It switched from lane to lane and road on the ass of each car. At one point, you were riding alongside this truck and you could tell that there was maybe 1 1/2 car lengths between it and the car in front of it. And all vehicles on the road were going over 60 miles per hour.

Would you call the truck company and report the driver, knowing that his behaviour could easily kill someone one day? Would you chalk up the bad driving to the weather and not make the phone call because no one was injured but the damage to that driver’s life (and subsequently, anyone else who depends on him) could be enormous if he were to lose his job?

What would you do?


1 Denise { 03.15.08 at 2:21 pm }

Make the call. The driver’s career cannot be more valuable than innocent lives of those unfortunate enough to be on the road with this trucker. If the driver is tailgating in poor weather, I shudder to think of the driver’s driving habits in good weather.

2 reichmann { 03.15.08 at 2:25 pm }

I agree– not only would I make the call to the company, but I’d also call the state police and report reckless driving (I believe you can dial #77 or something like that and give current location and direction). They could intercept him down the road and possibly save a life.

3 Heather { 03.15.08 at 2:32 pm }

I’ve called on bad drivers and I also call on good drivers. You know the ones that have the “how’s my driving…” stickers. Well, if they drive reckless, I call. If they are also really considerate and safe, I call. I think it equals my karma out.

4 Tash { 03.15.08 at 2:33 pm }

If you felt threatened, I’d call. There are bad drivers that make you swear, and bad drivers that make you want to pull off for a few minutes, and if it’s the latter, I think a report is in order.

5 PJ { 03.15.08 at 2:45 pm }

I didn’t even need to think about it. I’d call and rat out the guy!

6 May { 03.15.08 at 3:06 pm }

I’d call, too. If it was bad enough to blog about, I’m guessing it was bad enough to call. I saw a car getting taken out by a semi once and I’ve never forgotten the image.

7 Jen { 03.15.08 at 3:17 pm }

I would call. My father-in-law used to run corporate shipping for Pepsi. At least once a week, a truck would kill someone. (Of course, there were A LOT of trucks, all over the US and Canada.) I don’t think they fired a trucker after one call, but did after several. So, you on your own couldn’t damage his life on your own, if he was just doing it because of the bad weather, but only if he made a pattern out of it. Calling is definitely the right thing to do.

Besides, (according to my father-in-law) truckers don’t like guys that give them bad reputations like that. They want to weed out the bad ones, so that a truck doesn’t kill someone once a week.

8 Lori { 03.15.08 at 3:18 pm }

I would pull over (to put even more distance between the truck and me) and call.

I would have a hard time forgiving myself if the driver ended up killing/hurting somebody.

9 The Town Criers { 03.15.08 at 3:30 pm }

So I went to call it in and interestingly enough, the trucking company does not have a number on their site for reporting an unsafe driver. Hmmm… So I went to the federal site to report an unsafe driver and the office is closed until Monday. Does anyone know a 24-hour hotline or do I just have to wait until after the weekend to report it?

10 Geohde { 03.15.08 at 4:20 pm }

I’d call without hesitation.

Anybody that displays such little regard for the health and safety of others ….. well.


11 Tara { 03.15.08 at 4:23 pm }

I’ve actually been in a similar situation and I did call the company. They were very thankful to have recieved the call (or so they portrayed) and said that they would deal with the driver ASAP.

I felt better knowing that at least I had brought it to someone’s attention and perhaps even prevented loss of life?

12 Baby Step { 03.15.08 at 6:06 pm }

I tell on people ALL THE TIME. I used to be too timid to call, but now I do it without question!!!

13 Bea { 03.15.08 at 6:33 pm }

I don’t know who to call, but I agree. He might not lose his job – it might be a matter of a warning. That part’s up to the company. If the company’s pushing him too hard and that’s why his driving is reckless, it’ll be a wake-up call for their whole fleet.


14 Hekateris { 03.15.08 at 7:49 pm }

I’d call. In fact, I have. I live on a half moon street, a one way street, and when an oil truck came down the street doing 30mph (in a 10mph zone) going the wrong way, oh I called, yes, I most certainly called.

You’ve got nothing to lose and you might save a life in the process.

15 Jess { 03.15.08 at 8:18 pm }

I agree…call!! But I don’t have any good advice on who…

16 Isn't it pretty to think so { 03.15.08 at 8:39 pm }

I’d call…I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.
My friends father once told him when he was learning to drive “You’re driving 2000 tons of death.” I’m thinking that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but still…driving is serious.
Don’t know who you can call, though.

17 Fertilized { 03.15.08 at 9:11 pm }

Oh I’d totally call! ANd have several times before

18 Michell { 03.15.08 at 11:37 pm }

I would make the call and have also done so in the past. I had a truck driver doing that to me one night and he scared the crap out of me, I wrote a letter to Fedex when I couldn’t find a number to call.

19 Meghan { 03.16.08 at 6:13 am }

I usually call *77 (non-emerg highway police line) whenever I see unsafe drivers. I’m so cynical but I feel like the company isn’t going to do anything if I call them. I’ve seen them pull people over.

20 Jendeis { 03.16.08 at 8:39 am }

Call. Call, call, call. And not just b/c I’m a lawyer. Saw the comments, glad you called. Try the Department of Transportation website. They can forward a contact email to wherever it need go.

21 Rachael { 03.16.08 at 9:33 am }

I’d report him, for definite.

22 jenn { 03.16.08 at 10:32 am }

I live in a city with lots of highways- I call constantly. I call the company- I’ve gotten the actual driver on occasion! I’ve also called the cops too. When I was run off the road (twice!) I’ve called 911, but I have never actually seen someone get pulle over from when I called.

-my husband is a driver by the way- if they get too many complaints they will get canned- but it’s a great incentive to drive saftely, which he does!

23 Jess { 03.16.08 at 12:12 pm }

Definitly make the phone call!

24 Rachel { 03.16.08 at 12:44 pm }

Call him in.

My in-laws are drivers and it just makes everyone in the business look bad when one person is unsafe.

25 sharah { 03.16.08 at 2:47 pm }

Call. One incident will not ruin a driver’s career, just earn him a warning and give him a chance to improve his behavior. And if he’s a chonically dangerous driver, he deserves to be taken off the road.

26 Tracy { 03.16.08 at 3:01 pm }

I would call. He’s risking other people’s lives all to make a little more money. Not right.

27 Rachel { 03.16.08 at 4:06 pm }

I’d call. Even if he loses his job, it’s better than someone dying.

28 nutmeg96 { 03.16.08 at 8:17 pm }

I just don’t see the downside to calling. The guy knows there’s a phone number on his truck. It’s not like he should be surprised if someone calls it. Better he’s unemployed than dead.

I doubt they fire guys for that kind of thing anyway.

29 ms. c { 03.16.08 at 8:23 pm }

I would call without a doubt.

30 Sassy { 03.16.08 at 10:05 pm }

I would call. Just in case you drive past the truck next week after he has killed someone. The guilt isn’t worth it.

31 Dianne/Flutter { 03.17.08 at 7:56 am }

I would call 911, ask for the local police barracks and report a reckless driver.

But, I look at it – if should kill someone it would be far worse than not having a pay check.

32 Tina { 03.17.08 at 12:05 pm }

I would absolutely make the call! I leave a notepad in my car for such things…and have made several calls myself. Not that it always helps…some companies are like “yeah, whatever” about it. But, some do take it very seriously and will hold it against the employee.

33 lori { 03.17.08 at 3:10 pm }

i would call it in. if you can’t find a number for the trucking company, you also can call 311, which will connect you to your local police’s non-emergency line (i think. this is how it is in texas, but i’m not sure about other states). i’ve done this many times…for dangerous drivers, for unbelted children, and for broken-down vehicles. i never know if anything is done about the situation, but i always feel better having said something.

34 Tigger { 03.17.08 at 11:18 pm }

I”m late, but I also say make the call. It may be a wake-up call for him. It may also be that he’s done this before and needs to not be driving. Those 18-wheelers are dangerous enough as it is without irresponsible jackasses behind the wheel.

35 The Town Criers { 03.18.08 at 6:50 am }

So I tried reporting it yesterday and they wouldn’t take my report because I didn’t have his trucking number. I had his license plate number and could describe the truck and knew the trucking company (she claimed to have never heard of C*venant Transport, though I don’t work for a government transportation office and I’VE heard of C*venant Transport). So they wouldn’t take my report. Can you say extremely frustrating to get off that phone call?

36 Anita { 03.18.08 at 9:26 am }

I would have made the call.

Transport drivers are the first to complain when someone in a vehicle cuts infront of them because the can’t stop as quickly as a regular vehicle. This driver knows that too. There is no excuse for this drivers behaviour.

37 Manda { 03.18.08 at 5:30 pm }

I would call the number they have listed on their website for Sales. I’m sure SOMEONE there can get you to the right person.

Side story: We were driving through Oklahoma on our way home from a camping trip. This charter bus thing (you know, 47 women all dressed like Lucille Ball going to see the Worlds Largest Ball of String or something) changed lanes and ran this truck off the road. The truck went way down over into the median, managed not to roll over, and got back on the road. I’m betting there were a lot of us calling about him that weekend.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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