|A Guide to Managing Risks While on the Road |
You are headed out of town on state business. You might be attending a conference, visiting a client, or making a presentation. You may be on the road for one day or several days at a time. Maybe your assignment will take you into unfamiliar territory.
You know what you need for the trip. You know what is expected of you once you get there. Is there anything missing? Are you adequately prepared to deal with an emergency, accident, or loss while away from the office?
Traveling on state business, particularly overnight travel has some special risks for you and for the state. Most of the time these risks do not result in a loss. To reduce the possibility of a loss, you need to understand these risks and plan for them.
This kit provides you with a quick and easy reference guide. It should help you prepare for risks you may encounter while “on the road.” Please remember wherever you travel, you are representing the state of Oregon. Professionalism and patience are your best friends. Enjoy your stay. And, have a safe journey.
- Special Resources for Frequently Asked Questions
- State Vehicle Use and Access Rules
- Road Trouble in a State-Owned Vehicle?
- A Word About Safety
- What If I Am Injured or Sick While Traveling on State Business?
- Traveling Outside of the United States on State Business
- A Word on Alcohol
- Summary of Hot Links
|Special Resources for FAQs|
Questions on driving on state business and the use of state vehicles are some of the most frequent calls that the DAS Risk Management (DAS RM) receives. Special resources to assist agencies in managing those risks include:
- The State Controller’s Division of the Department of Administrative Services has developed a Travel Web page (intranet access only for state agencies) to assist agencies with management of state business travel. Guidance is provided through statewide policies within the Oregon Accounting Manual, consultation, training and informational resources.
- The DAS RM State Business & Travel Status Policy, clarifies official state business and insurance coverage.
The basic policy is that state employees and agents are covered by state liability and workers’ compensation coverages only if and when they are duly performing the state’s business and direct travel to that business at the state’s direction and control. Employees and agents are not covered by the state while they engage in personal activities or in activities prohibited by the state. Technically, they are not covered because personal and prohibited activities are outside the course and scope, or performance, of state employment or duties.
|Vehicle Use & Access Rules|
Selected definitions from State Vehicle Use and Access Rules: |
- Private Vehicle - A motor vehicle that is owned, rented, borrowed, leased, or otherwise lawfully in the possession and control of any private person or any entity other than the state. A commercially rented vehicle is a private vehicle if it is rented or used for private use or any mix of private and state uses.
- State Vehicle - A motor vehicle owned, rented, borrowed, leased, or otherwise under the possession and control of the state. A commercially rented vehicle is a state vehicle if it is rented and used by a duly authorized employee at the cost of the state, solely for official state business.
|Road Trouble: State Vehicle|
Accident Report Packet
If you are involved in a vehicle accident, follow the instructions on the accident report packet. You will find this packet in the glove box of the vehicle or in the vehicle information that you receive from the Motor Pool. On the outside of the packet, are phone numbers for the DAS Motor Pool and State Police Dispatch (statewide). On the back, are instructions about what to do at the accident scene.
Inside the flap, is the state of Oregon insurance information to give to other drivers involved in the collision. A copy of the state Certificate of Coverage is enclosed in the packet for proof of insurance.
Fill in the information on the forms at the time of the accident. Get a police report. Contact the DAS Motor Pool or your supervisor to discuss what you should do with the vehicle. Make no statement to anyone except law enforcement, your supervisor, or a state claims adjuster. Do not argue or admit responsibility.
Claims are handled by DAS Risk Management . Call us as soon as you can at (503) 373-7475 if you are involved in a serious accident, i.e., someone was taken from the scene by ambulance, or if any vehicle was towed.
Remember, it is the driver’s responsibility to submit the original “Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report (pdf)” to the DMV within 72 hours. Effective January 1, 2004, the reportability requirements for an accident were changed. This report must be filed with DMV when an accident happens on a highway or premises open to the public, and resulted in any of the following:
For more information, see Your Responsibilities in an Accident, Insurance Requirements and Accident Reporting Requirements on the DMV Web site.
- More than $1500 in damage to your vehicle;
- More than $1500 in damage to any one person´s property;
- A vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of damages;
- Injury to any person (no matter how minor); or
- The death of any person.
Submit a copy of all forms (in the accident packet) within 72 hours to the DAS Motor Pool if the vehicle is a motor pool vehicle, or your supervisor for any other vehicle. Your supervisor, agency Risk Coordinator or the Motor Pool will submit the required claim reports to DAS Risk Management.
Filing a Claim
The DAS Risk Management investigates, evaluates and resolves claims for damage to state property and for loss or injury to the public (third party) arising out of state activities.
A state property loss that falls within the deductible limit must be managed by the agency without intervention from DAS Risk Management . For assistance, see Road to Recoveries RisKey - A Guide to Managing Losses Below the State Property Deductible.
DAS Risk Management manages all liability claims for loss or injury to a third party, regardless of value.
State Self-Insurance Claim Report Form (pdf)
Paying for Police Citations or Parking Tickets
It is your responsibility to pay for any police citations or parking tickets. The state of Oregon cannot reimburse you for this cost. See also DAS Fleet Administration Operating Policy, 107103-8 - Parking Tickets and Traffic Violations (pdf).
Repairs – DAS Car
DAS Fleet Administration Operating Policy, 107103-5 - Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (pdf).
Not all state-owned vehicles are DAS-cars. Several agencies have their own vehicles. Before travel, check your own agency policies regarding emergency repairs.
Note: DAS Risk Management does not pay for repairs for mechanical breakdown.
State Fuel Credit Card
|A Word About Safety|
Don’t forget to pack your safety hat when you travel. Keep safe. Don’t be a victim. Be alert. Be selective. Don’t take chances. When in doubt lock your doors and always be suspicious. Remember you are in control. You decide where to go after the workshop or conference and who accompanies you. While women appear to be at higher risk, men are not immune. These suggestions apply to everyone!
File a travel itinerary
- Let your supervisor know where you are going and how you plan to get there.
- Leave your planned route, mode of transportation, description of vehicle, time of departure and expected arrival.
- List the address and phone number of the places you are staying. Include a list of people with whom you plan to meet and their phone numbers as well.
- Lock your vehicle while you are driving and every time you are out of it. Don’t take the chance of being surprised by unwanted passengers.
- Park in an attended, well-lit, high traffic area. Carry your keys in your hand. Ask for an escort. Pay the parking fee. Your safety is worth it.
While in the hotel:
- Do not drink and drive. There are no exceptions.
- Use the dead bolt when you lock your room door – even when you are in the room.
- Use the hotel safe for valuables.
- Do not hold meetings in your room. Most hotels have meeting areas and business centers.
- If you are meeting someone, join him or her in the lobby, restaurant, or some other public area.
- Do not announce your room number where strangers can hear. Better yet have acquaintances contact you through the switchboard. No one needs to know your room number.
- Don’t open your door until you know who is there.
Travel Itinerary (form) (doc)
- Be aware of emergency evacuation routes.
|Injured/Sick While Traveling|
- Contact the hotel front desk. Most hotels can direct you to an urgent care center or hospital. Have the desk clerk call a cab if you are unable to drive. An ambulance may be appropriate in an emergency situation.
- Contact your supervisor. Let him or her know what is going on and how to reach you.
- If you take medicine on a regular basis, make sure you have a list of current medications with you. It’s also handy to have the name of your primary care physician, pharmacy and their telephone numbers.
- Carry your health and dental insurance information with you. If you have a serious medical condition, it may be appropriate to bring a copy of your medical records.
Health Emergency Information (form) (doc)
- If you wear eyeglasses, carry a copy of your current prescription. Or, have the name and telephone number of your optometrist with you if you have to get glasses made in a hurry. If you need glasses to drive, it is a good idea to bring along an extra pair.
|Traveling Outside of the U.S.|
When you travel outside of the United States, there are additional issues that you will need to address.
State Insurance Coverage
When you are functioning in your official capacity, the usual state insurance coverages are in effect.
The state’s automobile coverage is valid only in the United States, its possessions, territories and Canada.
If you need insurance to drive in a foreign country (especially Mexico), DAS Risk Management needs at least two weeks advance notice to arrange for it.
Health/Dental Plan Coverage
Know how your personal health/dental plan provides coverage when you are out of the country. Contact your insurance carrier before you leave.
You may want to ask your primary care physician about required immunizations and health alerts.
|A Word on Alcohol|
Consuming alcohol is a personal choice. There is no state business that requires a state employee to consume alcohol. Once you begin to drink, you are on personal business – not the state’s. You are no longer operating within the course and scope of your job duties. You are at your own risk.
For further information see the DAS Rism Management Alcohol Risk Control Policy, 125-7-401.
|Summary of Hot Links|
Still need more information? Contact DAS Risk Management at (503) 373-7475. |