In 2021, more than 30,000 criminal offenses were reported on college campuses.
Although campus and local police help protect students and staff, robberies and assaults can still happen. You don’t have to walk with constant fear if you know how to prepare yourself and stay alert during campus commutes. If you want to protect yourself and your friends, there are a few habits you want to practice.
Read below to discover safety tips for student transportation so you can focus on your social and academic growth!
Notify Someone You’re Leaving
One of the best habits to get into with student transportation is letting someone know where you’re headed.
If you have a best friend, discuss texting each other when you are headed out the door on walks. This gives a timestamp on when you leave and lets someone know the path you were on in case of emergencies.
Although you are likely safe to walk to campus, you don’t want your presence to go unnoticed. You can also do this by texting friends in the same classes that you will meet at the coffee shop or in the lecture hall.
As you get more familiar with your surroundings, you may not feel the need to continue this for certain walks. Use your best discretion when you go somewhere and let another person know if you have concerns.
Avoid Looking at Your Phone
Robbers and dangerous people are more likely to approach distracted victims, rather than alert people.
Keep your head out of your phone and pay attention while you’re walking to campus. Although you may want to change the song or catch up on your texts, you don’t want to be approached by a dangerous person.
Sexual assault, theft, and violence risks increase when your head is down and you aren’t observing the people around you. Another reason you don’t want to look at your phone during a commute is in the case that you’re driving. Distracted driving takes lives every day, even when drivers are going at slower speeds.
Use Student Transportation
Shuttle buses and vehicles are often available to students that live on campus.
If you have early or late classes, this is a smart way to commute since you are in a safe environment. Student transportation will give you comfort if you have safety concerns about walking in the dark and you could meet new friends on your ride.
The best part about using student transportation is that you can relax on the drive. This will give you a chance to cram for a test or prepare a playlist while you walk to your lecture halls.
In certain cases, you can call the police and have them escort you, but you must use your best judgment.
Locate Emergency Phones
College campuses typically have red or blue lights with a phone attached to them.
Pay attention to where these phones are located on your morning commute and around your lecture halls. These phones are strategically placed around campus to help alert authorities if you’re in danger. The phone will connect you with either the local police and/or the campus police.
Within moments, help can arrive and make sure you get to and from class safely. These can also be used in medical emergencies or when intruders enter campus property.
Go with a Group
If you have roommates or friends down the hall, see if their schedules align with yours.
Many lectures follow the same routines and classes start for students at the same time. Even if you sign up for the dreaded 8 am lecture, you will likely find someone headed to campus around that time.
Walking with a group of people can increase your safety and make the commute more enjoyable. Instead of walking alone, you can study, joke, or share TikToks with someone besides you.
Pay Attention to the Weather
Whether you drive or walk to campus, you need to check the weather each day.
Dangerous weather patterns have been developing all across the country. Severe storms, extreme temperatures, and ice can put you in danger.
College students leave a bit of their wardrobe back at home, but they still need to pack weather gear. Rain boots and jackets are essential during the season changes and can prevent you from sitting in a lecture hall dripping wet from the rain.
Snow boots, jackets, and gloves are also a must if you live in a cooler climate. In some areas, temperatures can drop so low that students are at risk of developing hypothermia. Pay attention to your local weather on an app or online.
Don’t Drink & Drive
Part of the college experience is finding friends and having fun.
With a large range of ages, many college students are allowed to drink alcohol. Starting the day with a morning mimosa might seem like a good idea, but you shouldn’t drive under the influence. Drinking and driving is illegal and could put your entire future at risk, but it can also put your life and fellow students in danger.
If you and your friends grab a drink after classes and need to get back to the dorms, call a taxi instead. Uber, Lyft, and other commuting services are available around most college campuses. If there’s a possibility that you might have a drink, park your car in a safe location where it won’t get towed.
Put Lights on Your Bike
Bicycles are one of the best ways to avoid a traffic jam around campus, but they do come with risks.
Distracted drivers can appear anytime, so if you have to ride your bike on the road, be alert. Putting lights on your bike and wearing bright colors can help drivers notice you on the road so they don’t accidentally hit you. In the event you do need help after a bike accident, you’ll want a lawyer by your side.
Foggy mornings and shortened sunlight in the fall can increase your odds of injury on a bike. When other people can see you, you don’t have to worry about colliding with vehicles, other bikers, or skateboarders.
Get Regular Car Maintenance
With exams, papers, and deadlines always arising, it’s easy to overlook your vehicle.
If your engine or oil lights are turned on, don’t hold off addressing them until classes calm down. Car problems often happen on short commutes and you don’t want to miss a midterm because you blew your transmission.
Before you leave, always check your tire’s air levels. Student loans, parents, and savings accounts can help you fund car expenses. If you don’t make these small investments as needed, they will turn into costly repairs.
Don’t be afraid to ask mechanics if they have a student discount so you can save a few dollars.
Secure Your Mode of Transportation
Did you know that more than 900,000 vehicles were stolen in 2021 in the United States?
Even if you don’t have an expensive vehicle or a large sound system, people may still try to enter. Some students get desperate for money and try to make cash by selling car parts or looking through people’s belongings.
Make sure your vehicle is locked and that you don’t leave windows open for people. If you ride a bike to campus, you can invest in a lock, which will prevent people from stealing it. Stolen bikes are common on college campuses since students are always in a rush.
If you drive a motorcycle to campus, look for a safe lot, preferably with security or cameras.
Keep Your Music Down
Looking down at your phone can prevent you from seeing someone that is dangerous but other things can impair your senses too.
Listening to loud music might give you the energy to begin the day, but it can also put you in danger. Emergency vehicles, bikers, and other people walking use noise to vocalize where they are headed. If you want to avoid getting in the way or becoming an easy target, lower your music and keep your ears open.
While driving in your vehicle, you should also keep music down so you don’t distract other people on the road.
Look Both Ways
Since you were a child, you’ve been reminded to look both ways before crossing the road.
At roundabouts, main roads, and small intersections, you need to check the roads before crossing. Even if you’re on a one-way street, look in both directions. Since people use diverse ways to get to campus, there could be bikes and skateboards coming from the other direction.
College campuses are notorious for having winding roads that hug the property. Although these roads create a beautiful view, they can make you think you’re safe to cross when you aren’t. Try to cross near stop signs and avoid doing it around curves, where drivers could come speeding around.
Walk with Water
When you’re walking around campus all day and studying, it can be easy to overlook your water intake.
Unfortunately, a lack of water can impact your ability to retain information and safely get home. It’s helpful to carry a reusable water bottle around so that you don’t get dehydrated. Dehydration can cause dizziness and fatigue, which may result in fainting and other health conditions.
Always keep your water protected. Don’t leave it open in a public place where it can easily be tampered with. Many people recommend getting ones with lids so you can’t toss them into your backpack when it’s empty.
Some people view their morning commute as an opportunity to regain energy, while others know the dangers.
It’s comforting when you don’t have to drive or walk and can rely on student transportation. Sleeping, however, isn’t recommended since it puts you at risk in several ways. While sleeping, you increase your risk of assault and theft.
You need to stay awake in public places to protect your belongings and body. Even when you’re exhausted, hold off on taking a nap until you get back to your dorm. Another reason you want to avoid this mistake is so that you don’t miss your stop!
Observe the Exits
If you commute on subways, buses, or trains, you need to observe where the exits are.
In the event of a fire or intruder in the building, you don’t want to be caught in the chaos. Knowing where the exits are and sitting close to them can increase your safety.
Unfortunately, sitting too close to the exits can put you at risk for other problems. When doors open, people can quickly grab bags and purses before you have time to react. The best way to stay safe on your commute is to sit within a few spots of the exit.
Having an exit plan can help you feel prepared when you aren’t comfortable.
Keep Luxury Items Hidden
Walking to class isn’t the best time to flaunt your new jewelry, shoes, or cash.
When you flaunt your money to people you don’t know, you can make yourself a target. You can still own these items but only show them off in safe areas with people you know. Students can be overwhelmed with bills and tuition and resort to theft when they fall behind.
Pay attention to how people are perceiving you. You should put items in your bag while commuting or leave them in your room.
Stop Fearing Student Transportation
Whether you’re entering your freshman year or senior year in college, certain strategies will keep you safe.
Student transportation can be dangerous if you’re distracted and unprepared. If you want to prevent injuries or theft, you must remain alert and keep your head out of your phone. By preparing for your commute, you can keep your eyes on your surroundings and notice red flags.
Make sure you check out our site for more information about preparing for college and staying safe!