I love this time of year. There’s an electric quality to the
air and the feeling of new beginnings.
It’s move-in week on this college campus. Anticipation,
fear, excitement, dread, worry—I imagine all of these emotions floating around
me as families move new and returning students into dorms and apartments all
over campus and around town.
I’m betting these students are getting mentally prepared for
classes, studying, and making new friends. But are they prepared for possible monkey
wrench—an accident—in the middle of their activities?
Everyone, regardless of student or nonstudent status, can do
one thing to avoid accidents or to effectively react to such events: pay
Watch for Dangers
While on Foot
Watch people around you when you are walking. If you see
activity that doesn’t seem normal or appropriate, move away and call the
police. Don’t walk alone at night or in unfamiliar areas. Approach your vehicle
with caution, even during the day. Have your keys ready, glance underneath the
vehicle, and check inside. If someone is loitering near your car, walk to a
place of safety, and call the police. The National
Crime Prevention Council has resources for 18- to 24-year-olds.
Watch for Dangers
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, a leading cause of unintentional injury deaths of people ages
15 to 44 was motor vehicle traffic. Distracted
driving was a major factor. Any activity that takes a person’s attention
away from driving endangers the driver, passengers, and bystanders. Texting is
at the top of the list of distracted driving activities. Put down the phone.
Practice defensive driving. Learn how
from Robert Schaller’s 70
Rules of Defensive Driving.
Improve Your Chances
by Paying Attention
Actions you take can help reduce your chances of adding to
these statistics. Pay attention to what is happening around you. Take action to
make your surroundings safe for yourself and your loved ones. Visit the Safe Kids USA, Ready.gov, National
Crime Prevention Council, American Red
Cross, National Safety Council,
and eXtension for checklists, planning
templates, fact sheets, and other materials to help you stay safe.
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