If your child is taking a car with them to college this fall, or even if you’re driving them and staying around for a few days to get them settled in, it’s important to understand the risks in driving around campus surrounding areas.
College towns like Boulder and even areas around colleges in cities like Denver and Colorado Springs have unique traffic patterns and many pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter enthusiasts. Extra caution is necessary to prevent a serious collision.
Get comfortable driving in the area
If your child was walking or biking the campus in previous school years, they may not know how to get to destinations via roads. It’s a good idea to drive the campus before they have to worry about getting to class on time.
It’s also essential to find out where the parking lots are and what kinds of permits are needed. Find out what the speed limits are as well, since there may not always be signs.
Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists
Probably the greatest danger is the number of pedestrians and cyclists on and near the roads. They may not always be crossing at crosswalks and could easily be distracted by music or just doing some last-minute cramming for a test in their heads.
Watch out for people who may be congregating around a crosswalk or campus bus stop. They may not always be on the sidewalk.
Speaking of distractions, driving around campus requires your full attention. Even if your college student is used to hands-free talking and texting, it’s best not to try to do that while driving on or near campus. The same is true with using GPS. Have that and whatever podcast or music you want to listen to set before you begin driving.
Keep an eye on other drivers
It’s also important to watch out for other drivers. Most college students haven’t been driving for long. They’re also dealing with unfamiliar routes. They may make unexpected maneuvers, miss speed limit and stop signs or stop suddenly for someone on foot or bike crossing the street.
If your college student is injured in a crash caused by another driver, they may need your help to make sure they get the compensation they need. Be sure that they don’t settle a claim just to get it over with until you know the full extent of the costs and damages.