Oregon State University

105: Safe Driving Practices

Motor Pool Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 100: Vehicle Safety
Effective: 02/01/1982
Revised: 07/01/2006



To educate drivers of Motor Pool vehicles on safe driving practices.


All departments and individuals who use Motor Pool vehicles.


Safe Driving Practices

A key feature of any motor vehicle safety program is the recognition of safe driving practices that have been shown to reduce accidents.  The OSU driving safety program emphasizes the following practices:

  • Observation Skills: Drivers should develop skills, which enable them to detect or anticipate hazards to be avoided.
  • Maintaining an Escape Route: Drivers should always position their vehicle in traffic to provide routes of escape in emergencies.
  • The Three Second Rule: Drivers should maintain the proper distance behind the vehicle in front of them. Under ordinary driving conditions, this distance is three seconds at any speed.
  • Safe Parking Practices: Parking lots contain special hazards, such as a lack of traffic controls, visual obstructions, and limited maneuvering room. Drivers must develop parking habits to mitigate these hazards.
  • Foul Weather Precautions: Foul weather creates many hazards such as reduced traction and vision, which require modified driving practices.
  • Traffic Management: Urban areas contain congested traffic, complex intersections, and limited access road ways that increase the danger of driving. Drivers should learn traffic management skills, which would increase their safety in these situations.
  • Emergency Reaction: Regardless of the caution exercised by drivers, unexpected actions by other drivers and unpredictable hazards can require drivers to use emergency reaction skills to avoid accidents.
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection: Proper vehicle maintenance is essential to safe driving.  Drivers should learn to complete a vehicle safety check as listed on the Vehicle Release Order and Mileage Report form.
  • Driver Attitude: Lack of proper driver attitude often causes drivers to make mistakes due to excessive haste and lack of caution.  Planning ahead allows drivers to engage their responsibilities without the urge to forego safe driving precautions.
  • Accident Safety: Drivers are expected to know and follow procedures for reporting accidents and safeguarding University Motor Pool vehicles.
  • Seat Belts: In accordance with State of Oregon Law, as well as good safety practice, all drivers and passengers using University vehicles are required to use seat belts whenever the vehicle is in use.  Drivers are responsible to check and make sure that every passenger has his/her seat belt secured prior to departure on each segment.
  • Transportation of Animals: Transportation of animals in Motor Pool vehicles is not allowed unless prior arrangements are made with the Motor Pool Manager.
  • Crossing Sidewalks: Whenever crossing sidewalks to leave alleys or parking lots, drivers should bring vehicles to a complete stop to be sure the walkway is free of pedestrians.
  • Backing Up Large Vehicles: Whenever two or more persons are present in a van or large truck, one of them should assist the driver, as a spotter, when backing up the vehicle.

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