Having a car when you go to college can be very convenient. It can help you get to the other side of campus a lot faster than if you were stuck walking or riding a bike, and it’s the easiest way to travel off-campus to go shopping or drive back home. However, there’s a reason why so many college students don’t have vehicles, no matter how convenient they are. Driving around on campus can be frustrating, and it is downright dangerous!
Don’t let that discourage you from bringing your car with you to college. Instead, drive confidently on campus without worrying about being involved in an accident with these tips.
Refresh Yourself on the Rules of the Road
You should know the rules of the road when you get in the car, no matter where you’re driving. However, the truth is, it’s easy for some rules to slip your mind. Especially if you don’t practice them frequently. There’s a lot happening on the roads on a college campus. Make sure you understand all the signs by refreshing yourself on the road rules where you live.
An online practice permit test that’s specific to your area is a good place to start. For example, if you’re going to college in Massachusetts, you should take an online quiz with questions that are verified against the official driver’s manual to ensure accuracy.
It could also mean driving on campus during the summer before school starts. That gives you a chance to see what kinds of challenges you’ll face, and it gives you time to look up any signs or road details that you don’t remember from your time in driver’s ed.
Eliminate Distractions in the Car
Eliminating distractions in the car is extremely important to all drivers, including young adults who will be spending a lot of time driving on campus. That includes things like turning down the music while you’re driving on campus, but it especially includes keeping your cell phone out of reach. One in four car crashes in the United States is caused by a cell phone. Keep it in the backseat, and turn it off so you aren’t tempted to answer any text messages or phone calls.
Have Rules for Your Passengers
Things can get hairy when you’re transporting your classmates. It isn’t uncommon for drivers to be distracted by the people they’re driving, which in turn can cause an accident.
A few rules your passengers should follow to keep distractions at a minimum include:
- They shouldn’t take phone calls in the car
- Help navigate if directions to your destination are needed
- No backseat driving!
- Don’t mess with the radio or the thermostat
- Get in and out of the vehicle quickly
Not only should you have rules for the passengers in your car, but you should also strive to be a good passenger in other peoples’ cars! That way, you don’t end up accidentally causing an accident for someone else either.
Give Pedestrians and Cyclists Extra Space
College campuses are full of cars, but they are full of pedestrians too. On many campuses, you’ll find way more people walking and biking than you will sitting behind the wheel of a car!
As a driver, it’s your job to keep an eye open for pedestrians and give them plenty of time to cross the street, even if you’re stuck inching along after the light has already turned green.
Cyclists are sometimes difficult to share the road with. It’s important to understand what it takes to coexist with bicyclists on the road. That means understanding their rights, and it means knowing that just because you know the rules, they might not. Give them plenty of space, and always wait for them to make the first move.
Driving slowly gets a bad rap, but it’s not so bad! Not only can driving slower save you gas money, but it can also keep you from getting into an accident. By slowing down, even if you aren’t going the speed limit, you can anticipate the mistakes of pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers who are less confident on the road. It may be frustrating, but at least you’ll make it home without needing a car repair!
Accidents on campus aren’t uncommon. With so many people in close proximity, it’s easy to see why! Slow down, eliminate distractions, and give pedestrians plenty of space to ensure it isn’t your car that ends up in the next accident.
For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.