General Driving Guidelines
Driving for long distances can be very tiring. Since fatigue can lead to increased potential for accidents, driving limit recommendations for all drivers are as follows:
Daytime travel: Four (4) hours at one time
Nighttime travel: Three (3) hours at one time
- Within fifteen (15) minutes of reaching a driving limit, the driver should exit the highway to a safe rest area. The driver should take at least a 15-minute break or another approved driver should assume driving responsibilities.
- When the total trip is expected to be completed within thirty (30) minutes beyond the recommended driving limit, one (1) driver may drive the entire trip without a break. However, if poor weather or heavy traffic threatens to lengthen the trip, the driver should exit the highway to a safe rest area within the recommended driving limits. No driver should exceed ten (10) total hours of driving time in any 24-hour period.
- Use headlights at all times.
- The driver's attention should always be on the safe operation of the vehicle. Distractions such as eating, drinking or talking on a cell phone should be avoided by the driver while the vehicle is in motion.
- The driver should slow down and use caution when driving over speed bumps or potholes to avoid damaging fleet or rental vehicles and injuring passengers.
- The driver should avoid operating in reverse whenever possible to prevent accidents that happen most frequently when vehicles back up.
- The driver should not drive the vehicle "off road" unless it is equipped and authorized for that use.
- The driver shall not drive the vehicles on flooded roadways, regardless of other vehicles proceeding through flooded roadways. Situations can change rapidly and loss of life or extreme harm can occur quickly.
Van Safety and Driving Tips
As a van driver, you have a responsibility to your passengers, to Bentley University and to the general public with whom you share the highway.
Driving a van may not be a daily experience for you, so be especially careful. This vehicle is likely larger and heavier than your personal vehicle and therefore handles differently. Driving a van requires extra caution at all times. Although a van handles differently than a car, you can compensate for its characteristics and operate it smoothly and safely. In addition to the instructional and practical guidance given in the Driver Safety Program, here are some tips to keep in mind when driving a van:
- When turning a corner, you must make a wider swing with a van than you would with a car. Consequently, on a right turn it is necessary to watch the right outside mirrors for small vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
- Use turn signals well in advance.
- Make turns more slowly than you would with a car. If you turn too quickly, the van will lean and make your passengers uncomfortable.
- Whenever possible, don't make "U" turns. Due to the van's wider turning radius, a "U" turn may require you to make at least one backward movement. Avoid backward movement whenever possible.
A loaded van is more difficult to stop than an automobile traveling at the same speed. Therefore, you should use a four-second following rule for a van. The four-second rule works as follows: Count 1,001 - 1,002 - 1,003 - 1,004 after the rear of the vehicle you are following passes a fixed object. If the front of your vehicle passes the same object before you count to 1,004, you are following too closely. Slow down. Increase follow distance in poor weather conditions or when fully loaded.
Height of Van
The height of the van has advantages and disadvantages for the driver. On the plus side, it gives you a better view of the road ahead. On the negative side, some garages are not high enough to accommodate the van. You also have to watch for overhead obstructions such as trees and limbs.
The van can block the view of passenger cars following you. Drivers may attempt to pass you at an unsafe time or place, and thus, threaten to involve you in an accident. Watch both outside mirrors for these maneuvers.
The van has blind spots on each side.
- Adjust your mirrors to reduce these as much as possible.
- To avoid striking a pedestrian, stop well before you reach a crosswalk. Watch out for your own passengers walking across the front of the van as they board or leave.
- When in a line of stop-and-go traffic, never get so close to the vehicle in front that you lose sight of its brake lights and directional signals.
- The greatest blind spot is to the rear when backing up.
Your best defense is to back up only when necessary. Avoid backing into traffic. If you must back up:
- Back into a space so that you can drive out.
- Engage 4-way flashers.
- Sound the horn twice to alert pedestrians and other drivers.
- Look over both shoulders.
- Use all mirrors.
- Utilize a spotter whenever available.
- Avoid blindside backing.
- Back slowly and cautiously.
Parking and Loading/Unloading
Watch for normal hazards, such as low branches and wires, fences, walls and hydrants, and choose a spot that will be easy to pull in and out of. It is also essential that you lock the van when it is left unattended.
Defensive Driving Techniques
A defensive driver is one who:
- Is careful to commit no driving errors.
- Makes allowances for the lack of skill and improper attitude and actions of others.
- Doesn't become involved in an accident or close call because of weather, road conditions, traffic or the actions of pedestrians and other drivers.
- Keeps continually alert for accident-producing situations far enough in advance to take defensive action.
- Concedes the right of way to prevent an accident.
What does the University’s Auto Policy cover?
The University’s Auto Liability Policy provides a $1,000,000 in combined single limit coverage for each occurrence, including legal fees.
Comprehensive coverage for theft, glass breakage and fire loss to the insured vehicle collision (physical damage) coverage is optional and specifically requested for each vehicle.
In addition, this policy will serve as excess liability insurance coverage in excess of $100,000/$300,000:
- Employee’s automobile policy if employee regularly uses his/her vehicle on University business and if the employee has received authorization by his/her department manager.
How does an employee/student become authorized to operate a University vehicle?
The department manager is responsible for having each person that will be driving for the University complete and submit a Vehicle Use Application training if applicable and a copy of their valid driver’s license to the Risk Management Office, Rauch 028 or FAX# 781-891-2260.
Buying, Selling, or Leasing a Vehicle:
What if a department wants to buy, sell or lease a vehicle?
The department should contact the Purchasing Department at 781-891-3456 for instructions prior to buying, selling or leasing a vehicle. A copy of the new registration must be forwarded to The Risk Management Department, Rauch 028.
Who holds the title for the vehicle?
The titles for all University-owned vehicles, registered in Massachusetts, are held by the Risk Management Office. Departments should contact The Risk Management Office, Rauch 028 or PHONE# 781-891-2226 or FAX# 781-891-2260 to arrange for pick up of title for a vehicle that is being sold or traded-in. This should be arranged through the Purchasing Department.
Who is responsible for renewing registrations?
The Risk Management Office processes all MA registration renewals. If a department receives a registration renewal application it should be sent to the Risk Management Office for processing.
Are motor vehicle fines, speeding tickets, parking tickets, etc. covered by insurance?
No. It is the individual’s responsibility to pay any motor vehicle fines or tickets. Employees and Students are expected to drive according to the laws and regulations in each state and city they drive in. Failure to pay the required fines could result in non-renewal of all registrations for that department’s vehicles and/or having the vehicle towed or booted at the department’s expense.
Collision Damage Waiver
Rental Vehicles Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
Employees are instructed to decline the optional CDW coverage (physical damage coverage) when renting a vehicle for university business and traveling in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Collision Damage coverage should be purchased when traveling in other countries.
If an accident occurs the employee should:
- Submit an accident report, as soon as possible, to the rental company and file a report with University Police.
- Provide the Risk Management Department with a letter from the department head stating the purpose of the employee’s business trip and confirming that the accident occurred on university business.
- Forward to the Risk Management Department any correspondence received from the rental company regarding the vehicle’s damage.
After this information is received, the Risk Management Department will then take the necessary steps to reimburse the rental company.
When should an employee decline the Collision Damage Waiver or Limited Damage Waiver?
The Collision Damage Waiver should be declined when an employee is renting a vehicle for university business and traveling in the United States and Canada. When traveling outside of these countries, the required local insurance and physical damage insurance must be purchased.
Should the CDW be declined if the employee uses the rental vehicle for personal use (e.g., sightseeing, vacation) before or after the scheduled business?
If an employee decides to use the rental vehicle for personal reasons on the days before or after the scheduled business, then the employee must decide to either purchase the collision damage coverage on the vehicle or be responsible for any loss or damage to the rental vehicle.
What should a driver do if an accident occurs?
In the event an accident occurs the driver should do the following:
- DO NOT ADMIT LIABILITY TO ANYONE.
- Exchange vehicle information with the other driver-name, address, license number, plate number, year, make, model of car, name of Insurance Company.
- If necessary, contact the local police.
- Report all accidents immediately to University Police at 781.891.3131.
- University Police will submit an Accident Report Form to the Risk Management Department.
- If a Bentley employee is injured, he/she should file a report with the Department of Human Resources – Worker’s Compensation.
What does an employee or student do if the other driver’s insurance company contacts them at work or at home about a university owned, leased or rented vehicle?
The employee (driver) should send all correspondence and refer all telephone calls to the Risk Management Department, 781.891.2226. The employee should not discuss the accident with anyone except a Bentley University representative or a representative of the university’s insurance company.
What if the employee receives a summons and complaint?
If the employee receives a summons and complaint, they should deliver these papers to the Risk Management Department immediately so the necessary steps can be taken to file a response with the court.
What if an accident occurs to an employee’s personal vehicle while on university business?
The employee should do the following:
- Submit an accident report as soon as possible to the employee’s insurance company. The employee’s automobile policy is the primary insurance.
- Send a copy of the accident report to the Risk Management Department, Rauch 028. The university’s automobile policy will provide excess insurance in the event the employee’s policy reaches its policy limit.
- Employee must provide Risk Management Department with a letter from the department head stating the purpose of the employee’s business trip and confirming that the accident occurred on university business.
Will the employee’s collision deductible be reimbursed if the accident occurred while on university business?
It depends on who is at fault. The employee must submit proof of their auto policy deductible and this can either be a copy of the policy declaration page or a letter from their insurance company. Once the employee has had the vehicle repaired and can show proof of payment of deductible, copy of cancelled check (both sides) or credit card statement, the employee can submit this documentation to the Risk Management Office who will then process the reimbursement.