Although high school and grade school students will be returning to class in a few weeks, college students are heading back now. A significant number of them will live on campus, and a good number will be commute into school daily or walk to school from their off-campus apartment.
Regardless of how your son or daughter gets themselves to class, have a talk with them ahead of time so they understand how to be safe when they head to school. There are also a few safety precautions you can take to ensure their safety.
If they do get involved in a car accident and you do not know what your options are, you should consult with a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help you deal with your insurance company as well as handle any legal matters that arise from the accident.
What can I Do to Prepare My Teenager for Driving at College?
It is great to have a car on campus because of the additional freedom it provides. It can be a scary experience for you as a parent knowing your son or daughter has use of the car while they are away.
To ease your nerves and help your teenager make smart decisions, it is a good idea to talk with them before they head out to college to provide some safety tips. There are other steps that you can take that will help their safety as well. Those steps include the following:
- Insurance policy: Make sure your teenager becomes familiar with your insurance policy. Have the insurance card available and make sure they have the roadside assistance number handy if they get into an accident.
- Not a taxi service: Although having a car gives your teenager tremendous freedom, it also gives them significant popularity, and many friends will want a ride from them. Talk to your teenager about setting boundaries about when they will give someone a ride and how often. Also, tell them to never lend their car out to anyone no matter the circumstances.
- Maintain the vehicle: Before your teenager heads off to college, have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic to determine its condition. You should make any adjustments that are needed and replace tires and brakes if necessary to ensure that your teenager does not have a breakdown while on the road.
- Do not get idle: There are ways your teenager can help the life of the car as well, and that is by not allowing it to sit neglected in a parking garage for days at a time. They should start the vehicle at least once every other day and check on it to protect it from vandalism.
- Know the vehicle: Before your teenager leaves for college, get them familiar with the car and how it runs. Make sure they know important details such as the tire size, tire pressure settings, and other key information. If you do not know this information, it is located on the inside driver side door panel or on the gas cap door on their car.
- Updated information: Make sure that your teenager’s driver’s license, license plates, and tags are all current.
- Protect valuables: Keep all valuables out of site when leaving them in the car. The best place to put them, if they will not remain with you, is to lock them in the trunk.
In addition to these tips, you should remind your teenage driver about general safety suggestions such as:
- Do not speed
- Do not drink and drive
- Be aware of roadside conditions
- Put an emergency kit together
Giving these tips to your teenage drivers will protect them and prepare them for any unforeseen circumstances.
What Steps Should My Teenager Take While Walking to Class?
Many college students like to live off campus but close enough where they can still walk to class. There are other campuses that are significantly larger and require students crossing multiple busy streets on their way to their academic buildings.
There are a few basic tips for which these pedestrians should be aware no matter if they are walking across town or across campus. These tips include:
- Only cross streets at marked crosswalks and observe all traffic signals.
- Yield to cars and bicycles when you are not in a crosswalk.
- Do not jump out in front of drivers and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Stay to the right on shared pathways and avoid bike-only lanes.
- When there are no sidewalks, always walk facing traffic and never turn your back to oncoming vehicles.
- Always be aware and alert when walking and avoid anything that will distract you while you are walking. Also avoid drugs or alcohol that will impair your senses while walking.
- Wear bright colors at night so you are easily seen.
Walking to class can be a great way to start the day; however, students should also give themselves plenty of time to get to class. If they find themselves running late, they might make a dangerous decision when crossing the street, such as trying to cross when it is not safe.
What Do I Need to Know About Rideshare Accidents?
Many college students like to drink and go out late at night. There is not much you as a parent can do to stop this. However, you can remind them to never get behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink. Luckily for them, there are rideshare services they can use to help them get home safely.
Unfortunately, these vehicles are also prone to accidents, and there are questions as to what options are available for teenagers who are involved in car accidents while riding in a rideshare vehicle.
If you are injured in a rideshare accident, the first thing to do is ensure the safety of everyone involved and get the passengers the medical attention they require. You should also obtain the names and contact information of everyone involved, along with any witnesses who might have seen the accident. Finally, document the accident by taking as many pictures as possible of the vehicle involved and any conditions that caused the accident. In addition, you should also call the police.
In terms of liability, this is where things can get tricky. If your driver was at fault for the accident, you cannot necessarily sue the company that employs them. In many instances, these drivers are independent contractors, meaning that their companies hold no liability over the situation. However, many companies carry $1 million liability policies that will cover uninsured or underinsured drivers.
As a passenger injured in a rideshare accident, you can file your claim against the party responsible for the accident, even if that includes your driver. If they do not have insurance or enough to cover your claim, the company’s liability policy will have to come into play.
New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims in Car Accidents Heading to School
If you or your son or daughter was injured in a car accident while driving to school or in a ridesharing accident, the New Brunswick car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help you receive the compensation package that you deserve. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.