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Pedestrian Accidents on a College Campus: What You Need to Know

Nearly 4.4 million people are injured by motor vehicles every day. Within these millions of people, about 14% of accidents involved a pedestrian. As a college student, visitor, professor or campus employee, you’ll want to ensure you stay safe while maneuvering a university campus.

Making use of pedestrian pathways and sidewalks is one of the most efficient ways to get around most college campuses. Whether you’re running late on your way to class, a meeting or taking a casual stroll, it’s always important to keep safety in mind as a pedestrian.

Rather than end up in an accident with an oncoming vehicle who might not see you, you’ll want to follow some campus pedestrian guidelines.

What you need to know about being a safe pedestrian on campus:
  1. How to Avoid Accidents as a Pedestrian
  2. Aftermath of a Pedestrian Accident on Campus

How to Avoid Accidents as a Pedestrian

When it comes to getting around a college campus, you’re bound to interact with intersections, crosswalks, other pedestrians, and even vehicles. In order to avoid getting hit by an oncoming vehicle on or around campus, you’ll want to keep a close eye on traffic and make sure you are visible to oncoming drivers.

If you are a driver on a college campus, be mindful of students and professors crossing the street in front of you. You’ll want to ensure that you drive slowly and mindfully in order to avoid an extreme accident.

Look Before Crossing the Street

As a good rule of thumb, when acting as a pedestrian anywhere, you’ll always want to look before crossing the street. In an environment such as a college campus where students are often moving about either on foot or by car, you should always look left, right and left again before crossing or turning the street.

Be sure to focus on your surroundings, and if you see a car coming toward you, make direct eye contact if possible so that the driver sees you. If you cannot make eye contact with the oncoming vehicle driver, be sure to come to a full stop to avoid being hit by said driver.

Use Proper Street Crossing Techniques

Similarly, as a pedestrian, you’ll want to follow proper street crossing rules such as stopping before walking through a crosswalk. In order to effectively avoid an accident with an oncoming vehicle, be sure to cross at street corners using traffic signals and crosswalks.

In the absence of either, be extremely cautious when crossing. This is especially important on college campuses as drivers may not be familiar with the flow of traffic or people. When possible, use the sidewalk and avoid crossing in front of oncoming traffic. Be sure to stay as far away from the driving lanes as possible.

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Avoid Distractions

As a pedestrian, it is your job to stay alert as many drivers might not see you. While listening to music on headphones or looking down at cell phones is a common way to pass the time spent on your walk, be sure to avoid ALL of these distractions when crossing the road. Make sure to keep your head up and be alert to oncoming traffic.

Make Yourself Visible

If you’re going to be walking to class or running on campus, especially late at night, you’ll want to ensure you wear some form of reflective clothing. Similarly, if possible, you’ll also want to stay near well-lit areas to make sure you stay visible to late night drivers.

While making yourself visible won’t necessarily ensure you will avoid a pedestrian accident, this tactic can improve your chances of being involved in a fatal accident anywhere while on foot.

Aftermath of a Pedestrian Accident on Campus

After being involved in a pedestrian accident on a college campus, whether you are the injured party or the driver, do not leave the scene. After you’ve gotten control of your bearings, immediately call 911 and campus security. Go to the nearest emergency room if necessary. Regardless of the severity of the incident, it is important to notify the proper authorities.

After the authorities have been contacted, be sure to document everything. Take pictures, record any injuries or loss of property, and keep a file of ongoing issues that may arise.

Once you have taken these initial steps, you’ll be able to rest and contact a local injury and accident attorney. A personal injury lawyer can ensure you have all your bases covered after a pedestrian accident.

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