By Karla Garcia
How often do you walk distracted throughout campus? I know I am guilty of it as well, but I have instilled these habits to limit my distractions and safely navigate throughout campus:
- Put the phone down! I know it may seem like checking that DM is the most important thing in the world but trust me it can wait until you are out of the sea of people. By checking that person’s message, you slow down the traffic of people behind you who must move around you to get to class.
- Turn down the music. I know, I know, as much as I love music, it is dangerous to play it at max volume. By listening to your music at full blast, you will miss the bell ringing and other passer-byers. And what about hearing an emergency vehicle? I would much rather listen to a mix of music and people muttering than create an incident with a bicycle or skateboard.
- Follow signs and signals. The campus has safety measures to ensure not only your safety but the safety of other pedestrians and drivers. By using the built environment correctly, you’re making yourself predictable to drivers, and as a driver, you should follow the same rules of the road.
- Stay vigilant. Whether you are making your way out of the school parking lot or to the bus stop, by simply being aware of your surroundings and who is passing by, you will make yourself a safer and smarter pedestrian.
Remember we all have places to be, classes to attend, and people to see. Be courteous to yourself and others by taking this advice; you will see just how much safer a pedestrian you will be.
Karla Garcia is a student at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in International Relations and Global Studies. She is currently a freshman who has experience working with the UDS program as support staff, including as a team member for our UDS Symposium.