The Texas Capital is very much a college town and students across Austin are officially back on campus, making this a perfect time for those who walk or bike to school to familiarize themselves with some helpful safety tips. Looking both ways before crossing the street will only get you so far in this modern age of distracting mobile devices.
If you live close enough and plan on walking or biking to campus, keep the following tips in mind to reduce the risk of being involved in a pedestrian or bike-related accident in Austin:
- Electronic Devices Can Wait — As a pedestrian or cyclist in a big city, talking on the phone, answering a text and even listening to music can severely impede your focus. You need to be able to hear and see your surroundings at all times, so unplug that headset and put that phone away.
- Bicycle Guidelines May Vary — Riding your bike through downtown Austin can be fun, but cyclists have more rules to follow compared to pedestrians. One mistake cyclists commonly make is biking through a crosswalk. Proper crosswalk procedures for cyclists include dismounting and walking across at the same pace as pedestrians.
- Road Rules Are for Everyone — Rules of the road are not just for motorists. Pedestrians must use sidewalks when available. As for cyclists, they must ride on the correct side of the road, obey stop signs and wear helmets if they are under the age of 21.
Driver distraction is at an all time high for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike, which is why it’s important for college students who bike and walk to school to increase awareness by digitally disconnecting and learning the rules of the road. Unfortunately, pedestrian and bike accidents can and do occur despite precautionary measures. If you should find yourself injured by another’s negligence, know that help is available.