Every day, college students commute to and from their schools. The costs of living in a dorm or close to campus can be a huge added expense for some, with the expense of commuting by car, train, bus, bike, or even walking a lot less. College takes up a lot of your time and thoughts with more attention given towards the difficulties of waking up early, deadlines on projects and assignments, and the latest buzz in your social circles. While all of these things are important, ensuring safe travel to your university is and should be one of your top concerns. Here’s six tips on how to travel and commute safely as a college student.
Refrain from using technology
Today’s generation is characterized by the technology they wield. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, MP3s, and other electronic devices have become staples for everyday college life. Without it, many cannot take notes during their lectures or text friends about plans after school. Such devices must be used wisely and in moderation. During travel to and from your campus, refrain from using gadgets that could otherwise prohibit you from paying attention to your surroundings. In fact, since 2010, up to 35 percent of pedestrian injuries occurred because of mobile phone usage.
Tend to your ride
For college students with their own car, be sure to perform regular checks and maintenance on your vehicle before driving it on the road. Amidst busy study schedules and social lives, your vehicle may not be getting the adequate attention it deserves. Mechanical problems can arise, which, as a car accident lawyer in Austin reminds, can culminate in roadside accidents in the worst scenarios. Prepare for all possible outcomes of driving your own vehicle, such as doing oil changes, repairs, updates and having adequate insurance coverage to pay for accident costs. As a student, you do not want to be caught uninsured as this means you’ll likely pay it off directly out of your own pocket.
Always be accompanied
Walking alone at night inside and outside of campus can be dangerous, especially if the university is situated in a not-so safe neighborhood. If you have night classes make sure to have a buddy system in place with one of your classmates. Getting from Point A to Point B may be faster without a buddy system, but it’s definitely less safe at night. The greater your size as a group, the greater the deterrent from the perspective of wrongdoers.
Carry emergency money
Running out of money forces you to take compromises that may not be the safest option. Don’t solely rely on your credit and debit cards to pay for your expenses. In some cases, they run out, stop working, or get lost. Either way, you are left hanging without any money to take the bus or train or pay off your dinner.
Know who to call for help
It won’t really help much calling your friends or classmates at midnight after you’ve been robbed, injured, or in an accident. Know which authorities to call, which will usually be the campus police. Many campuses have interlinked systems in place where you can press an Emergency Button and help will arrive shortly thereafter. Have the number of nearby hospitals and law enforcement on your phone as well.
Know your way around
Depending on campus size, it takes some time to familiarize yourself with all the shortcuts and marked paths around the school. Be aware of dead ends and dark alleys. Establish a safe route where there is sufficient path lighting and foot traffic.
In the end, always remember to enjoy the experience of college, as it may only come once in life. In your first few weeks in school, rinse and repeat these habits until they become second nature and you no longer need to proactively remind yourself of them.
Author: Brooke Chaplan