This spring, a group of Louisiana State University students unveiled their work on a crosswalk near the student union. The “creative crosswalk,” as they’re calling it, features a large tiger (in honor of LSU’s mascot) that’s hard to miss.
That’s the point – and that’s why they hope this will be the first of many. The crosswalk was painted as part of a senior class project for which students were told to choose a campus issue. They chose pedestrian safety.
One of the students involved said, “We wanted to do something big and bold to kind of show the community that pedestrians should be prioritized….” The students found in their research that crosswalks with colorful, creative images catch drivers’ attention.
Driving on campus is nothing like walking
Since most people who study and work on college campuses walk or bike much of the time, safety around crosswalks and anywhere there are vehicles is crucial. If your child is taking a car to school with them this fall for the first time, there are also some safety measures they should take to stay safe and keep others safe – even if they know their way around campus on foot, bike or scooter.
College campuses – and the surrounding communities – pose some unique risks. A large student population generally means people walking or biking with earbuds in and maybe talking on their phone or doing other things that distract them from their surroundings. A significant number on any given day may be suffering from lack of sleep, hungover or immersed in thought about an upcoming exam or presentation. Drivers on and around campus can be equally distracted or unfit to be behind the wheel.
Knowing where you’re going can help
That’s a lot to be aware of – even for a safe, alert driver. Those who have a car on campus for the first time can minimize their chances of a crash by planning (and practicing) their routes between classes, between campus and off-campus housing or jobs and anywhere else they plan to drive regularly. Pedestrian and even bike routes may not be accessible by car. GPS can be unreliable on campuses.
Whether your college student is walking, biking or driving around campus this fall, it’s wise to make sure they know what to do if they’re involved in a collision. Make sure they know their rights if they’re injured by an at-fault driver.