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Automobiles and Fleets

Driver Safety Guidelines

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:

  • Drivers shall not operate cell phones, multi-media enabled smart phones, MP3 players, GPS devices, laptop computers, tablet computers, or other handheld electronic devices (an “Electronic Device”) unless the Electronic Device is being operated via a hands-free mode or while the vehicle is in park, and is being used solely for the conduct of official State business. Any use of an Electronic Device that is not hands-free, including but not limited to talking, reading, sending or receiving text messages, or reading, sending or receiving email messages, is prohibited while the vehicle is in drive or in motion. Drivers are prohibited from watching the screen of an Electronic Device while operating a State owned or leased motor vehicle unless the vehicle is in park.

  • 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 Office of Risk Services & Insurance at 864-656-3354.

Approved by Administrative Council 2-26-07