Red Flag Violations and the Worst 1%

Transportation | 7/27/2021

Written By: Andy Engardio

The DOT Auditor is on the lookout for any potential violations. They will build your carrier profile before they even arrive at your office for audit. In that profile, they will compile all public and non-public federal data available regarding your company. There are several reports that they will pull and review to build this profile.

Two of the reports the DOT will review:

  • Red Flag Violations
  • Worst 1%ers

Both reports are federal programs, which means they are non-public, and they are based on road-side inspections. Also, since they aren’t public, there is no real way to prepare for the results of these.

The Red Flag Violations report highlights 16 violations that are considered to be especially harmful or adverse. Some of these violations include: Operating a CDL without a valid license; Driver is using or in possession of drugs; or Operating an OOS vehicle; Driving after being declared OOS.














If your carrier has experienced any of these violations to over the past 24 months, the auditor must investigate and include your response within their formal report. There are no additional fines for these violations (other than any fines that occurred at the initial time of the violation) however, they could be indications of a culture problem within a trucking company.

The other report that is frequently used by auditors to create a profile is the Worst 1% but is interestingly enough lesser known to the industry. The federal government has a rating system that measures all CDL drivers in a ranked system. With this, they are looking to identify the worst 1% of CDL drivers in the population. If a 1%’er was cited during a road-side inspection attached to your motor carrier, their name will trigger in your audit, and the auditor will be required to ask you about that specific driver. They may have been termed months ago, but the auditor will still need to ask that question and include a writeup within the internal DOT report.

Unfortunately, there is no way to check your drivers against the “Worst 1%.” The DOT does not make that report public due to the liability associated with terming any drivers. The best way to prescreen drivers is utilizing a PSP service prior to hiring and looking for the tell-tale signs of a ‘worst 1%er’.

While there is no sure way to secure an audit pass, keeping these factors in mind will help. Knowing what violations are flagged on reports can ease the process of creating a highly personalized plan for your specific risk factors. 

AssuredPartners Transportation has consultative professionals who assist in delivering risk management and insurance solutions for your operations. To learn more, visit AssuredPartners Transportation or contact our team of specialists.