14.0 VEHICLE SAFETY
The following sections provide vehicle safety guidelines and procedures. This chapter covers the following topics:
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death and crippling injury in the United States. Traffic safety laws are important components of vehicle safety, but the most important aspect of vehicle safety is the driver.
IMPORTANT: All UTIA employees who operate a motor vehicle for university business (whether a university vehicle, rental vehicle, or personal vehicle) must possess a valid State of Tennessee driver's license for their vehicle's class.
To ensure driving safely, follow these driving practices:
14.3 Defensive Driving
The principles of defensive driving include the following:
1. Knowledge. Know your vehicle and know the law.
2. Control. Always maintain control of your vehicle. To improve your control, perform routine vehicle maintenance and respond to road conditions, as appropriate.
3. Attitude. Be willing to obey all laws and be willing to yield to all other vehicles and pedestrians.
4. Reaction. Respond to driving conditions appropriately. Do not impede your reaction time by driving when tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
5. Observation. Be aware of potential accidents and take preventive measures. Always try to anticipate the actions of other drivers.
6. Common Sense. Do not risk your safety to save time. Avoid "Road Rage" - Do not respond to rude or obnoxious drivers.
Backing a large vehicle can be very difficult. Try to avoid backing whenever possible. If you must back a vehicle, follow these guidelines:
If you are ever involved in a vehicle accident, follow these guidelines.
Whether hand-held or "hands-free," mobile phones and CB radios are not to be used, and should be switched off if possible, when driving on the open roads. They can be used freely when the vehicle is parked.
This policy applies when university vehicles are driven off UT property, rental vehicles are used on UT business, or personal vehicles are driven for UT business.
14.7 Railroad Crossings
Compared with other types of collisions, train/motor vehicle crashes are 11 times more likely to result in a fatal injury. On the average, there are more train-car fatalities each year than airplane crashes. Unfortunately, driver error is the principal cause of most RR crossing accidents. Many drivers ignore the familiar tracks they cross each day, and some drivers disregard train warning signals and gates.
All public highway-rail crossings are marked with one or more of the following warning devices:
1. Advance Warning Signs. Advance warning signs indicate that a railroad crossing is ahead. These signs are positioned to allow enough room to stop before the train tracks.
2. Pavement Markings. Pavement markings may be painted on the pavement in front of a crossing. Always stay behind the stop line when waiting for a passing train.
3. Crossbuck Signs. Railroad crossbuck signs are found at most public crossings. Treat these signs as a yield sign. If there is more than one track, a sign below the crossbuck will indicate the number of tracks at the crossing.
4. Flashing Lights and Gates. Flashing lights are commonly used with crossbucks and gates. Stop when the lights begin to flash and the gate starts to lower across your lane. Do not attempt to go around the gates. Do not attempt to cross the tracks until the gate is raised and the lights stop flashing.
IMPORTANT: You must stop at least 15 feet from a train track when: (1) warning lights flash; (2) a crossing gate or flag-person signals an approaching train; (3) a train is within 1500 feet of the crossing; or (4) an approaching train is plainly visible and in hazardous proximity.
Follow these guidelines when you encounter a railroad crossing:
Only UT employees or persons on official business for the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are allowed to be transported by UT vehicles. The University of Tennessee can not and will not accept the liability for any other persons in UT vehicles.