Active awareness

On the evening of Sept. 27, a pedestrian crossing 800 South, the road between the testing center and the free lot, was struck by a driver heading westbound along the street.

Police said the student was wearing dark clothing and listening to his iPod. According to unnamed eyewitness, they heard a thud and saw him flying through the air.

Pedestrians need to remember that they have responsibility for their own safety. Pedestrians cannot always rely on drivers to stop. The string of recent car/pedestrian accidents here on campus attests to that.

When walking in traffic areas, including parking lots, pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings. They also need to remove distractions like headphones or anything that takes away from the ability to hear or see what is going on around them.

Texting, though common, is not the only distraction facing drivers; anything that takes their eyes off the road even for a moment is a distraction that can lead to an accident and possibly a fatality. Applying make-up, eating, talking on the phone or focusing on an unruly child in the back seat are all examples of distractions.

The split-second decision to take your eyes off the road can have lasting consequences for both driver and victim. The consequences of harming another human being and the thought of being responsible for the loss of life can be hard to bear. No text is worth that possibility. Drivers need to remember to be aware and alert at all times.

Whether in the car, walking or biking, active awareness is critical; being aware of ones surroundings may save a life.

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