Auto Accidents, Emergencies and Claims

If you are driving a University vehicle or a vehicle rented on University business and you have an accident that involves another vehicle, person or property:

At the Scene

  • Stop immediately!
  • Do NOT admit liability at the scene to anyone, even if you think you were at-fault.
  • Take required precautions to prevent further accidents at the scene. (Place triangle reflectors, if available.)
  • Render all reasonable assistance to persons injured at the scene. Ask someone at the scene to call the local police, or call the local police yourself. Also, give the local police the name and number of Campus Safety & Security (24 hours/7 days a week), and ask them to call for assistance, if necessary, or call them yourself: 315-229-5555
  • Use the accident report forms provided in the glove box (if available) and write down the name of the other driver(s), their address(es), phone numbers, insurance information and particulars about the accident. Get written statements from any witnesses (including passengers in your vehicle or the other vehicle(s), or get their name, address and phone numbers for later contact. Obtain license numbers and descriptions of vehicles at the scene. This will be especially helpful if outside witnesses won't assist you.
  • Exchange driver/insurance information with the other party(ies).
  • In case of a severe accident, report the accident during regular business hours to: Eric Shinnick at 315-229-5880

If the University owned or rented vehicle is broken into, hit by unknown vehicles (hit & run), or damaged while it was parked, you must report the loss to local police and get a copy of the local police report.

No Cell Phones or Texting While Driving

Reporting Accidents 

The driver is responsible for reporting all accidents to the University. A reportable accident is any accident or incident with a University owned/leased or rented vehicle, which happens no matter where you are whether it occurs on or off campus, that results in:

  1. Any damage to the University owned/leased or rented vehicle, whether the University may choose to repair it or not;
  2. Damage to University or anyone else's property (e.g., vehicle, mailbox, post, etc);
  3. Bodily injury to you or to anyone else.

The driver of the vehicle is personally responsible to file an Accident Report within 24 hours or upon return of the vehicle to campus (owned or leased vehicles), whichever is sooner, whether the driver was at-fault or not, or if the vehicle was broken into, hit by unknown vehicles (hit & run), or damaged while it was parked. The report must be sent to:

  • Environmental Health & Safety Office: William Ritchie - 229-5908

Failure to file an Accident Report may result in loss of driving privileges and/or that insurance will not cover the loss, resulting in all costs for vehicle repairs being charged to the department or student organization. The only exception to this policy is the incapacitation of the driver as a result of the accident, in which case it is the responsibility of the head of the department using the vehicle to have the report completed and filed.

Why is an accident report important? 

The information from this report is used for many purposes including:

  • Identifying locations on campus with a large number of crashes
  • Improving dangerous roads and intersections
  • Developing programs to reduce accidents and help avoid injuries

Rented/Hired Vehicles 

Report the accident to the rental company, and complete any required paper work. Keep copies of all reports and, as soon as possible, report the accident to the Director of Risk Management.

If you have paid any deductibles or receive a bill for the deductible, please forward all paper work to the Director of Risk Management. for payment or reimbursement. Departments will be charged up to $500 for deductibles if the University driver is "at-fault" or has a surchargable accident.

Personal Vehicles

If you are in an "at-fault" or surchargable accident while driving on University business that results in bodily injury to a third party, you must send copies of all accident reports and information to the Compliance and Risk Management Office. Failure to report any accidents may compromise the College's insurance coverage, and you may be held personally liable for any claims in excess of your own insurance. You may be required to submit additional information, including copies of your insurance policy, and the results of any investigation made into the accident. Coverage is dependent upon your cooperation.

If your vehicle is damaged as a result of an accident, whether it is your fault or not, your comprehensive/collision coverage would respond. The University will not pay any claims to personal autos for comprehensive or collision damage. You are also responsible for any deductible amounts under your policy. If you do not carry any collision insurance, then the entire amount of the damage is your responsibility. It doesn't matter if you "have" to drive your own car because no University or rental vehicle is available; the University is not obligated to provide transportation.


If you are injured while driving or riding in a vehicle while on University business and you are an employee of the University at the time of the accident, immediately contact Human Resources, as you may have a Workers' Compensation claim.

If you are not an employee on University business, and are injured while riding in a University vehicle, all medical bills must be submitted to your health insurance carrier.

Accident Investigation & Disciplinary Action

Accidents will be investigated to determine what was the cause of the accident. If you were "at-fault" and/or received a surcharge, the findings will be documented, and disciplinary action may be initiated if appropriate. Reported incidents of near misses, reckless driving, failure to wear seatbelts and/or cell phone use while driving, may also be investigated for appropriate disciplinary action.

Deductibles & Denials

Student groups that use College owned vehicles or rent vehicles in the University's name are responsible for any amounts not covered by insurance, whether because of deductibles or because the claim was denied for failure or delay in reporting. The College's deductible is $500.

If an employee has an "at-fault" or surchargable accident while driving a University vehicle or a rented vehicle, the employee's Department will be responsible for payment of the $500 deductible. Also, Departments will be responsible for all amounts not covered by insurance because the claim was denied for failure or delay in reporting. Employees are not personally responsible for deductibles on University owned or rented vehicles.


Use common sense when a breakdown occurs on the road. Put the safety of your passengers first. Park the vehicle as safely as possible off the traveled portion of the roadway, preferably not on a curve or at or over the crest of a hill. Apply the parking brake and place the transmission lever in park (reverse, if gear shift). Turn on the four-way flashers and shut-off the engine. Set out triangle reflectors, if available. Call Campus Safety and Security for help.

Citations & Arrests

Drivers are responsible for payment of fines for all citations, including moving violations or parking tickets. Failure to do so may result in suspension of driving privileges. All citations for moving violations must be reported to the credentialing authority for your institution.

If you are arrested at the scene of an accident (e.g., for drunk driving, reckless endangerment), you, the driver, are responsible for any legal costs you may incur including attorney fees, bail, court costs, etc. The University Insurance does not cover these costs even if you are later found not guilty of the charges. Other costs you may be responsible for include towing and/or impounding of the vehicle. The College is not responsible for any unlawful acts of its employees or students, and will not defend or indemnify them for alleged wrongful acts involving the use of its vehicles or vehicles rented on college business.