Skip to main content

USU Vehicle Use and Authorization


Utah State University vehicle use applies to any motorized vehicle licensed for highway use while the vehicle is being used for authorized University business. This includes vehicles owned by the University or vehicles used, rented, leased, or borrowed from the USU's Motor Pool, State Fleet Services, commercial rental agencies, private individuals or any other outside party. University departments have a significant management responsibility to know about drivers from their department who are allowed to operate automobiles for University purposes.

Driver's Requirements

To ensure insurance coverage, employees and authorized volunteers who operate any vehicle on University business must follow the University's Vehicle Use Policy.

Drivers Responsibility:

All drivers need to complete a written representation as to:

  • Validity of drivers license
  • Driving record (as described in the Vehicle Use Policy.)
  • Safety of the automobile
  • Completion of Driver Training

Risk Management Services has designed an authorization form which is available on the web site as "Drivers Authorization". However, any written statement containing similar information will suffice. This representation should be signed and dated by the prospective driver. Obtaining this same information verbally with witness is acceptable, if written representation is impractical. Each department is responsible for ensuring that all authorized drivers in the department have a valid authorization form on file with the department.

A $10,000 deductible may be imposed on the department if the operator is not a licensed driver for the type of vehicle involved in the accident OR has, in the year prior to the accident, been at fault in another vehicle accident, has been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, OR has been convicted of reckless driving.

This deductible is not operative if the driver has completed an approved Safe Driving Course within 30 days of the conviction or accident, if the driver is at fault.

Coverage will be restricted if the operator is under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or a combination of alcohol and any drug thus rendering such operator incapable of safely operating or using the vehicle.

Coverage will be restricted if any driver operates a vehicle outside of his/her University duties, employment, or authorization.

As any uninsured liability loss will be the department's responsibility, it is important that the person authorizing automobile travel examines the prospective driver's record to avoid this loss.

Competency

In addition to a valid driver's license and appropriate driving record status, a University driver should be experienced and competent in the type of driving required.

Care should be extended in the selection of any driver in order to ascertain if she or he is physically and mentally capable of driving safely.

Authorization

In order to assure that the trip's authorization is complete and properly documented, each person authorizing the travel should, in writing, fully identify all certain and probable destinations of travel and identify all drivers and passengers to be present during the trip. The Travel Authorization (TA) form, if required for the travel involved, can be used to document the details of the trip.

Field Trips and Excursions

Field trips, or other excursions that are required for class credit, should be managed carefully to ensure due diligence and safety measures for all participants. Whenever it is reasonable to do so, it is preferable that students or other persons be responsible for providing or obtaining their own transportation to the field or excursion site. Ideally, this should be the same situation as if they would be  attending a class on campus.

When it is not reasonable to expect all participants to provide their own transportation, the next most preferable situation is to arrange for commercial transportation. If this approach is not practical, then arranging for University automobiles, with drivers carefully selected as described above, is preferable.

If none of the above situations are practical, and it is necessary to allow students or others to transport other passengers, then it is important to exercise authority and sound judgment in the selection of drivers and automobiles.

Waivers and Representations

Participants on field trips and other such excursions that are not required for credit, should sign statements that they are electing to participate of their own free will and will not hold the University responsible for the negligent acts of themselves or others. Risk Management can assist with this waiver form.

Safety

Automobile Condition

Safety is a major concern in authorizing the use of any automobile for University related travel. In that regard, specific knowledge of a automobile's operating condition is preferable. However, reliance on an established program for fleet maintenance (such as Motor Pool's) is generally satisfactory. Physical observation of a private automobile, or an inquiry of someone knowledgeable about its condition, though not conclusive, is preferable to no observation or inquiry.

University departmental automobiles normally receive regular maintenance and are kept in safe operating condition. Supervisors or others directing the use of department automobiles should monitor the condition of such automobiles.

Rented automobiles are generally maintained in safe operating condition. However, each automobile to be rented should be inspected for obvious deficiencies (seat belts, lights, windshield wipers and fluid, mirrors, etc.) before it is operated. Also, to avoid liability for erroneous damage claims, all physical damage (dings, dents, scratches, etc.) should be noted and brought to the attention of the rental agency prior to driving the automobile from their premises.

Automobile Operation

Obeying all traffic laws, including the wearing of seatbelts, is required for all vehicle operators and passengers. Passengers should not, under any circumstances, ride in the back of pick-ups, even just around the campus, unless adequate and proper seating and belting has been provided for them.

Most accidents involving University drivers occur in backing and turning situations and result from improper lookout. Care and concentration should be exercised whenever one is entering a different traffic flow pattern.

When it is necessary to drive for long periods, it is important to rotate drivers if possible and/or take rest stops every 90 to 120 minutes. Such stops should include getting out of the car and stretching, if it can be done safely.

Long Distance Travel

Long distance trips should not extend the driving day beyond ten hours, and this duration should only be achieved by alternating drivers at least every two hours. Driving later than 10:00 p.m. after a full day of travel should be avoided if practical. Initiating trips in actual or forcasted inclement weather should be avoided particularly if vans are planned to be used.

Insurance

Liability Automobile Insurance Coverages

  • Automobile liability limits are consistent with the Utah Governmental Immunity Act.
  • Passengers in State-owned vehicles are insured for limited medical payments under the Personal Injury Protection (no fault) coverage at statutory amounts.
  • University employees are covered for medical payments under Worker's Compensation.
  • Liability coverage is provided through the Utah Division of Risk Management.

Physical Damage Insurance Coverage

Physical damage coverage, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage, are provided by the Utah Division of Risk Management.

In the event of an accident, there will be a deductible of up to $1500 per occurrence, which will be the responsibility of the driver's department.

University insurance coverage is provided by Utah State Risk Management Fund, Administered by the Department of Administrative Services, Division of Risk Management, 5120 State Office Building, Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Personal Vehicles

The University does not provide primary automobile liability or personal injury protection coverage for personal vehicles driven by University employees, volunteers, or students on University business.

If a University department allows vehicles owned by employees, authorized volunteers, or students to be used for University business, the department should ensure that those vehicles are in good working condition, inspected, and insured for auto liability coverage.

Liability Insurance Coverage for Personal Vehicles:

  • The vehicle owner must carry minimum state-mandated liability coverage at his/her own expense.
  • The University does not provide primary automobile liability for personal vehicles driven by University employees, volunteers, or students on University business.
  • The University's automobile liability insurance will apply on an excess basis, if the auto liability insurance limits carried by the owner of the personal vehicle were insufficient to protect the University.
  • For excess coverage under the University's automobile liability insurance coverage, drivers and departments must comply with the insurance general conditions and limitations.

Physical Damage Insurance Coverage for Personal Vehicles:

  • The vehicle owner must carry comprehensive and collision insurance at their own expense.
  • The University provides no automobile physical damage coverage for personal vehicles used on University business. This means that if a personal vehicle were damaged, there is no insurance program at the University to cover such damage.

Accidents

In the event of an accident:

  • Stop immediately. Keep calm and be courteous. Turn on emergency flashers. Do not leave the scene of the accident unless absolutely necessary. Send someone for help and to call the Police.
  • Determine the extent of any injuries or damage.
  • If possible, secure the scene of the accident to prevent further damage or injury.
  • Call the Police at 9-1-1. If professional medical or other emergency help is needed, the USU Police will contact the ambulance or other emergency resources.
  • Refrain from statements regarding probable liability or inferences of commitment for the University.
  • Request the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • If injuries are involved, notify USU Risk Management as soon as possible, at (435) 797-1844.
  • Do not leave the scene of an accident without obtaining the other driver's information, including the name, address, phone number, and insurance information including company name, policy number, agent's name, and the agent's telephone number. Obtain the name of the investigating officer and the agency he or she represents (city police, highway patrol, sheriff, etc.).
  • If a motor pool vehicle is involved, call (435) 797-3145.
  • Report the accident to the USU department which authorized the vehicle use, and fill out the USU Vehicle Accident Report form completely. The report should be as detailed as possible and include how the accident occurred, what damages resulted, and if possible, photographs of the incident. If not submitted online, a printed report should be sent promptly to Risk Management Services 6600 Old Main Hill Logan, UT 84322-6600 OR FAX 435-797-1925.

NOTE: If a citation was issued, please indicate that information on the report form. The cited USU driver must review the Defensive Driving Video before being authorized to drive a USU vehicle in order to avoid the $10,000 liability insurance deductible.

USU at Fault -- USU Vehicle

Damage is subject to a deductible of up to $1500.00. This also applies to no fault accidents such as hitting a deer. The driver should call USU Risk Management Services and submit:

  • USU Vehicle Accident Report with police report number and other driver information.
  • An estimate of repair, preferrably from Miller's Autobody (50 East 100 North, Logan, UT OR 435-752-0525) for the damaged USU vehicle. The USU vehicle's department is responsible for repair and payment to the shop. When insurance recovery is approved and received, USU Risk Management will deposit a State of Utah check into the designated department account.
  • Only the Utah Division of Risk Management can determine if a USU vehicle is totaled. The DRM will usually send an adjuster to assess the vehicle's damage and authorize a recovery check for the estimated value of the vehicle to the department. The vehicle will be towed off campus for salvage.

USU at Fault -- Other Vehicle

The other vehicle owner should call USU Risk Management Services at 435-797-1951 or email risk@usu.edu and submit:

  • Police report or name of officer and report number
  • A copy of the vehicle registration with owners name, address and phone number
  • Photographs of the damaged vehicle
  • At least two estimates of repair

The insurance recovery check will usually be sent directly to the other vehicle owner, who should arrange payments for the repair.

Other Driver at Fault -- USU vehicle

The USU driver should contact the insurance agent of the other liable driver to get insurance recovery instructions. Risk Management can offer assistance in the initial contact, but recovery negotiations are often more efficient and timely when performed by the involved department.

Unsure of Liability

In some accidents no citations are given or fault is not apparent and may be split. In these cases, the USU driver should refrain from statements regarding probable liability or inferences of commitment for the University. Call USU Risk Management Services and submit:

  • USU Vehicle Accident Report
  • Police report and other driver information. It is very important to get the other driver's insurance agent and phone number
  • Photographs of the damage
  • An estimates of repair from Millers for the damaged USU vehicle

The DRM adjuster will work with the other insurance agent and issue fair insurance recovery.