Parents often worry when their children go off to college. Will they be able to make it on their own? Will they do well in school? Will they make friends? There are a lot of questions when a child that the parent remembers taking home from the hospital as a baby is finally ready to head off on their own.
While parents may not need more things to worry about, they need to know that there is a serious risk for college students: car accidents. The Brain Injury Society notes that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the more common catastrophic injuries in a serious crash.
Specific risk factors
Why do college students crash? While there are too many factors to list in one place, here are a few specific things to consider:
- Many college students do not get enough sleep with school and social lives, and drowsy driving can make accidents more likely.
- Students also may use alcohol or other drugs, and impaired driving can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
- Many students are young, and they're really just teenagers. Since teenagers lack driving experience and take risks, they are a high-risk age bracket when looking at accidents.
- Distracted driving is also a serious issue, as students may send text messages, talk to friends or try to eat and drink on the way to class. Multitasking reduces ability, and distracted drivers are dangerous drivers.
- Driving at night always makes it more likely that people will get into an accident for a variety of reasons -- lack of visibility, for example, or an increase in drunk driving -- but experts note that the risk is especially great for younger drivers. College students often have late-night classes, jobs or social events, so they spend a lot of their time driving during these dangerous hours.
How can college students avoid accidents? Defensive driving is important since even a good driver can be hit by someone else. It's also good for them to know about these risk factors and make a commitment to avoid them. They should never drink and drive, text and drive or take unneeded risks.
Again, though, that's only half of the battle. Students living on or near a college campus are around tens of thousands of other students. Ohio State, in particular, is a huge college. Students can get hit by their classmates and fellow students if they are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If this happens, it is important for students and their parents to know what rights they have to financial compensation. The last thing college students need is more debt.