Auto Accidents, Emergencies & Claims
Learn what to do if you are involved in an accident.
Following an Accident:
If you are driving a college vehicle or a vehicle rented on college business and you have an accident that involves another vehicle, person or property, remember the acronym S.P.A.R.E:
The first and most important step in the aftermath of an accident is to stop immediately. If you have been involved in a serious accident that sends your vehicle off the road or ruins the vehicle beyond its ability to continue driving, this may be an unnecessary reminder, but if the damage is superficial (a side-swipe or tap to the bumper) you still need to pull over immediately.
Prevent Further Harm
You will want to take required precautions to prevent further accidents. Place triangle reflectors, if available to alert oncoming traffic. Ask someone at the scene to call the local police, or call the local police yourself.
Avoid Accusation or Admitting Liability
It is important to note that accidents can be adrenaline-inducing experiences. You may experience the instinct to fight, freeze or fawn apologetically to the other driver. Do your best to instead remain focused on the well-being of those at the scene until the police arrive.
In addition to reporting to the local police, you will need to call to make sure your Campus Police or Campus Security Department is informed of the accident. You will need to fill out the accident report forms provided in the glove box (if available) and write down the name of the other drivers, their addresses, 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. Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles involved in the accident if you can. Obtain license numbers and descriptions of vehicles at the scene. This will be especially helpful if outside witnesses won't assist you.
Finally, when it comes to exchanging driver and insurance information with the other parties, make sure to give the insurance information for the college that should also be located in your glovebox kit if you are driving a college-owned vehicle. If you are driving a rental vehicle on college business it will help to procure a copy to keep with you for this purpose. NOTE: if you are driving your own personal vehicle, your insurance is considered primary, and the college’s insurance will only be activated when your own personal insurance limits have been reached. This may affect your premium costs, which is why we do not recommend driving personal vehicles on college business.
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 Police for help.