College campuses are so full of life, and it’s always a joy to drive through and relive one’s own days on their alma mater’s campus. Time with friends, hours in the library, favorite coffee bars or pizza places…there are so many things that make a college campus fun. Unfortunately, college campuses can also be a hot spot for car accidents and pedestrian collisions, due to the large amount of foot traffic and frequent, likely distractions.
Here in the Tampa Bay area, we have several great colleges that are home to thousands of students each year. The University of Tampa, University of South Florida (USF), Strayer University, and Eckerd College have popular, beautiful campuses, and are hubs of activity in their communities. Each of them have their own unique flavor, but they all share a few common factors. These include:
- heavy foot traffic during all hours of the day and night
- a high concentration of young drivers
- many stop signs and sometimes poorly marked intersections
Pedestrians do, in fact, need to be mindful of their actions when on campus, but this post is actually focused on the drivers who live or spend time on a college campus. How can you protect yourself, and others, when you’re behind the wheel? The team at Brooks Law Group has a few tips for you!
Put down the phone when you pick up the keys. Hands-free phone usage that’s limited to necessary phone calls or voice-to-text is fine, but anything else? It can wait. Your priority is to arrive alive, and sending funny memes to your friends or responding to a dinner invite isn’t worth your life. If you do get a message that’s so important it can’t wait, take time to pull over into a parking lot and safely answer away from the road.
You’re not a taxi…so don’t act like one! It’s ok for you to say no to friends if they’re constantly piling into your car as a free way to get to their destination(s). When you put too many people in a vehicle, distractions increase and the chance of an accident goes up. What’s more, you’re increasing your liability if there was an accident, as more lives are at risk of injury or death. Make the responsible choice and limit the number of people you invite for a ride. Another note? You don’t have to provide rides if you aren’t planning on going somewhere yourself. More time on the road = more chances of an accident! Get your rest and take care of yourself.
Don’t drink and drive. As many people on a college campus are still under the age of 21, this should go without saying, but it’s worth repeating: NEVER drink and drive. This includes using any drugs or medications that could affect your judgement as well.
Limit distractions behind the wheel. This includes music, eating while driving, or engaging in distractions outside the car (like passing a group of friends). Keep your focus on the road and never let your guard down when behind the wheel.
Brooks Law Group wishes all of our Tampa college students a wonderful (and safe) Spring Semester on our local campuses. Keep the above tips in mind, but remember if and when accidents come your way, our team is here for you. Car accidents are traumatic and complicated, and we’re committed to making sure victims feel cared for, informed, and empowered throughout their case. We fight for the justice you deserve and the compensation you need to heal and move forward. Call us for your FREE consultation!