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Operating a motor vehicle requires the driver’s constant attention. Anything that distracts the operator of a motor vehicle dramatically increases the risk of an accident. Using a cell phone, changing radio stations, reaching for a cup of coffee, eating or any other distraction leaves the driver vulnerable to changing road conditions that could cause an accident. For the safety of employees and other drivers, University employees who are operating a motor vehicle are expected to adhere to the following guidelines:
Answering the phone while driving - allow voicemail to answer calls until the trip is finished or it is safe to pull over to return the call. To reduce the risk of an accident while driving, use the cell phone only when the vehicle is parked.
Eating while driving - employees are encouraged to use their allocated meal periods and avoid eating while driving. Incorporate ample time for meals when planning business trips. Any other distracting activity that prevents the driver from paying full attention to driving a vehicle should be avoided.
Understanding operation of state vehicles - when operating a state vehicle and not a personal vehicle, employees should familiarize themselves with all safety features such as windshield wipers, lights, spare tire and emergency kit prior to departure.
Employees operating a motor vehicle while on official University business are covered for injuries and damage to themselves and others by workers’ compensation and general and/or automobile liability insurance. However, operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner may be grounds for denial of insurance coverage. It will be the insurance carrier and not Clemson University who makes the final decision on coverage, so employees are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines outlined above. Questions about these guidelines can be addressed to the Risk Management Office at 864-656-3354.
Approved by Administrative Council 2-26-07