Insurance and Risk Management

Insurance and Risk Management

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Queen's Best Practices for Driver Safety

Driver, Passenger and Vehicle Safety – guidelines to ensure safe vehicle operation

The following are provided by the University’s insurance advisors and are based on Industry Best Practices and proven loss prevention strategies.

Recommended Driver Selection, Training, and Records

Vehicle Selection

Vehicle Operation Guidelines

Fatigue and Limits on Driving Time and Distance

In Case of Accident

Recommended Driver Selection, Training, and Records

All drivers must carry a valid Ontario Class G driver’s licence or equivalent from another jurisdiction; only drivers with the appropriate licence are permitted to drive vehicles for Queen’s University business.

Please note: When drivers move to Ontario, they can use a valid licence from another province or country for 60 days ONLY.  After 60 days, drivers need to switch to an Ontario driver's licence  For more information: https://www.ontario.ca/page/exchange-out-province-drivers-licence

This is the first critical step toward ensuring that the risk of a motor vehicle accident is minimized. It is noted that 95% of all vehicle accidents are caused by human error. International driving permits are discouraged due to their variable application standards. Exceptions can be made when the international driving standard is known to be on par with Ontario standards.  Departments will need to follow up on this with those whom they wish to add to their list of drivers.

The use of hand-held devices is not permitted at any time when operating a vehicle (texting or hand-held cell phone use).

Vehicle Selection

It is suggested that departments and drivers carefully consider the needs when purchasing, leasing or renting a vehicle.

This will depend on many factors including – type of a vehicle depending of volumes, amounts transported; with good safety record, easy maintenance.

Please ensure that the person designated as driver at any given time has considerable experience driving that size and model of vehicle (ie. not all drivers have experience driving a van).

Vehicle Operation Guidelines

  • Drivers must at all times comply with all laws, regulations and posted signs or directions regarding speed and traffic control.
  • It is expected that drivers will inspect all areas around the vehicle before getting into it, to ensure there are no obstructions preventing safe driving.
  • Drivers should take a 30 minute rest break at least every four hours.
  • Drivers should drive no more than ten hours in any 24 hour period.
  • Trips requiring more than 10 hours driving time to destination should include overnight lodging.
  • Driving through the night is not recommended, nor is driving past midnight. Front passengers should remain awake to help keep the driver alert during all times if practical. A navigator should be assigned for trips to unfamiliar destinations and routes if practical.
  • Unauthorized persons are not permitted to drive the vehicle.
  • The number of passengers may not exceed the number of seat belts. All occupants of the vehicle are required to wear seatbelts at all times during vehicle operation.
  • Drinking and possession of alcohol or illegal drugs in vehicles or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited and voids the vehicle’s insurance coverage.
  • Be careful of conditions that may lead to loss of control such as driving while sleepy or inattentive, or driving too fast for road conditions.
  • If the weather is inclement, stop and stay overnight in a safe place. The additional lodging cost is worth avoiding the risk.
  • Drivers should inspect the vehicle for safety and maintain them properly, particularly the tires. Worn or under inflated tires can increase the risk of rollover.
  • Drivers of the vehicle are responsible for payment of all traffic violation citations incurred on university business.
  • Vehicles are to be used only for University business. Any liability arising out of personal use of a University owned or rented vehicle is the sole responsibility of the driver.
  • Absolutely NO use of hand-held or other electronic devices is permitted at any time when operating a vehicle (texting or hand-held cell phone use).  Stop the vehicle in a safe area to use a cell phone or other electronic device or have a passenger operate it.

Fatigue and Limits on Driving Time and Distance

Fatigue affects driver perception, information processing, and reaction times. In the extreme, it causes a driver to fall asleep. Fatigue can arise from factors including night driving, extended wakefulness, inadequate sleep, and sleep disorders.

Help drivers understand the warning signs of fatigue. These include:

  • forgetfulness
  • impaired decision making and communication
  • slower reaction times
  • staring ahead instead of scanning surrounding conditions
  • drooping eyelids
  • close calls, such as drifting into another lane or not maintaining a safe following distance

In Case of Accident

Please pay specific attention to the driver safety recommendations and what to do in the event of an accident before renting a vehicle below.

  • All off-campus accidents should be reported immediately to the local police department and note the name of the investigating officer.
  • Call 911 immediately if there are any personal injuries.
  • All injuries must be reported to a supervisor immediately, so that they can report to Environmental Health and Safety.
  • All on-campus accidents should be reported immediately to Queen’s Security at (613) 533-6733.
  • All claims must be reported to Insurance & Risk Management in the Office of the Vice Principal (Finance & Administration) at 613-533-2211 or by email to insurance@queensu.ca. Please complete the Vehicle Incident Report (300 KB) form and submit to Insurance & Risk Management.
  • Provide any other involved party with required insurance information and your name, address and telephone number. Note that requirements vary by province and state. Ask the investigating police officer for details.
  • Get all driver and insurance information from other involved party, if applicable.

Be sure to carry in the vehicle a copy of: Auto Accident Checklist.