As a pedestrian walking the streets of State College, you are very close to Penn State. Making sure that you are safe while walking down the street is important at all times, but it may present more risks in a college town.
In 2017, there were almost 6,000 pedestrian deaths caused by car crashes, a significant increase from past years. 16 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2016 were pedestrians. Whenever you are walking, make sure to take extra care.
Walking home from a party or a bar while intoxicated can be tempting. Not having to nail down a designated driver or pay for an Uber sounds good in theory but walking home drunk can be dangerous. 27 percent of pedestrian deaths involved an intoxicated pedestrian in 2016. Intoxicated walking leaves you vulnerable to not seeing an oncoming vehicle or walking into the street before surveying traffic.
Put down your phone
Millennials and college students carry their phones wherever they go, but when you are walking down the street or through a crosswalk, it is wise to put your phone away. Having the distraction of your phone, or your headphones in your ear, can make it easier not to see oncoming traffic. It is beneficial to your safety to stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
Do not jaywalk
Cross in marked areas or at stoplights whenever it is possible to do so. Jaywalking can put you in danger, especially in a town full of college drivers. When you are passing in designated areas, you will want to pay attention to the cars surrounding you. Make eye contact with drivers so that you can be sure they see you.
Walk in a group
You may be less likely to become a pedestrian fatality if you walk in a group. When a group of individuals is crossing the street, it is more noticeable to drivers, therefore it may prevent the possibility of the driver hitting you or your group.