As school starts up again, college students are the first to head back, and many of them will be hitting the road to get there. The following safety tips will help your college student get there safely and stay safe once on campus.
Good Car Maintenance Is Crucial
Teach your college student the importance of good car maintenance by doing a thorough check well before it is time to head back to school. Performing routine maintenance helps prevent unexpected breakdowns. Before your student leaves for the fall semester, show them how to:
- Check fluids levels and top off any that are low.
- Check wiper blades for wear and tear, and replace blades that are degraded or worn.
- Clean the inside of the windscreen, the rearview mirror, and side mirrors to reduce or prevent glare.
- Check tire pressure to see if the levels are correct, and check tire treads to ensure tires are still safe.
Help your student assemble an emergency kit that stays in their car and includes items such as jumper cables, flares, a first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, food and water, and a cellphone charger.
Pack the Car Carefully
Students have a lot of gear these days for their dorm rooms, and when returning to school, it is important to consider rearview visibility for the drive. Use the space under the seats, and try to lay items flat as much as possible to avoid having the back of the car piled high. Good visibility is essential for safety as is securing everything.
Plan the Route, and Check the Weather
Students rely heavily on their phones for everything, including maps and navigation, but it is much safer to have an idea of the route they will be driving before the start of the journey. Take the time to plan a route together with your student, and explore some alternatives should they run into an unforeseen situation, like a car accident or construction zone.
Depending on the region, it may also be important to check the weather forecast to avoid dangerous driving conditions.
Staying Safe on the Road
Talk to your student about some of the hazards they may encounter on the way back to school and on campus once they arrive, such as:
- Drowsy drivers
- Drunk drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Aggressive drivers
Staying Safe While on Campus
Once your student arrives at their destination, they should be aware of the hazards on campus. Some helpful college tips include:
- Always wear a seat belt when driving or as a passenger in someone else’s car.
- Look twice for pedestrians and bicyclists, as students often cross the road wherever they happen to be and not in the crosswalks.
- When walking on campus, stay alert and look around, not down at your phone.
- Make eye contact with drivers so you know they have seen you. Wear bright colors or reflective gear at night.
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Have a designated driver, wait until you are sober, or call a ridesharing service.
What if My College Student Is Injured in an Accident?
Pennsylvania offers drivers the choice of no-fault car insurance. If this type of insurance is chosen, drivers or passengers injured in a car accident must first turn to their own personal injury protection car insurance coverage to cover their losses, regardless of who caused the accident. If opted out of this choice, or if the claim meets certain criteria, then there is the possibility to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. For those filing a claim, it is important to know that Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations of two years for car accident lawsuits.
Additionally, Pennsylvania follows the legal principle of comparative negligence. The plaintiff’s compensation award is reduced by their percentage of fault. If the plaintiff is found to be more than 51 percent at fault for the accident, they cannot recover any damages at all.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Can Help Your College Student After a Back-to-School Crash
If your college student becomes injured in a car accident, one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can help. Call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, Media, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the surrounding areas.