Common College Campus Hazards Drivers Should Look Out For

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on February 23, 2023

. Updated on May 30, 2023


Notre Dame UniversityIf you are driving near Notre Dame or some other college campus, there are some additional hazards you need to look out for. Do you know who may be liable if you are injured in a crash on or near campus?

Below, we discuss some of the most common hazards on campus roads and who may be liable for an accident.

Call our South Bend car crash attorneys today to discuss your claim if you were injured in a campus collision. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.

Increased Foot Traffic

Most drivers are accustomed to slowing down around school zones. However, few remember that college campuses also have increased foot traffic. Drivers in these areas may fail to reduce their speed or pay attention to pedestrians.

Because of the increased foot traffic on campus, a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian is more likely. Liability for these types of collisions could depend on several factors.

First, it is important to determine how the collision occurred. Did the driver violate a traffic law? For example, did he or she run a red light or stop sign? Was he or she speeding? If so, the driver is most likely the liable party.

There are some instances when the pedestrian may be at least partially liable for an accident, though. For example, if the pedestrian crossed the road outside of a crosswalk or was distracted and crossed when it was not safe to do so. College students are more likely to be distracted by their phones or while talking and walking with friends.

A pedestrian may only be partially and not fully liable for an accident. Drivers are expected to take additional precautions. In areas with heavy foot traffic, speed is usually reduced to allow drivers more time to react.

Distracted Drivers

Drivers need to remain alert for other drivers on college campuses.

University campuses, like Notre Dame, are large and easy to get lost in. Drivers may be more focused on looking at their GPS. This can prevent them from paying attention to where they are going. Younger drivers, like college students, may also be more likely to text and drive. Too many people piled into a single vehicle could also be distracting for a younger, less experienced driver. These distractions could pose serious dangers not only to pedestrians but also to others who share the road.

Distracted drivers are usually liable if an accident occurs, as it is considered negligent driving.

Proving a driver was distracted could be done in several ways. Often, the type of collision may help to prove the person was not paying attention to the road. For example, a driver who rear-ends another vehicle was most likely distracted by something.

Intoxicated Drivers and Pedestrians

While driving on or near a college campus, drivers should be wary of drunk or drugged drivers. This is especially true on nights and weekends when students are known to be out partying. Intoxicated pedestrians could also be an issue. Many students may choose to walk to other friends’ dorms to avoid driving drunk.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, so a driver who causes a collision while intoxicated could be automatically liable for damages due to negligence per se. This type of negligence applies when someone is considered liable because his or her actions broke a law.

Inexperienced Drivers

Hoosiers can obtain a driver’s license at 16. The average age of college students is between 18 to 22. This means most drivers on campus have only been driving for a few years.

Lack of experience could pose a hazard for others, especially if an inexperienced driver attempts something like texting or drunk driving. These actions are dangerous enough for an experienced driver, let alone one who has only been licensed a short time.

Inexperience does not excuse a driver from liability if an accident occurs, though. That said, crash victims must prove the other driver caused the collision. For example, if the driver miscalculated the distance between vehicles when making a left turn due to his or her lack of experience behind the wheel and a crash occurred. He or she could be liable because left-turning drivers are supposed to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.

Can a Parent Be Liable For an Accident Caused By an Adult Child?

Parents are liable for the actions of their underage children, including if a teen driver causes an accident. However, there are times when parents may also be liable for the actions of their adult children. For instance, if an 18-year-old crashes a vehicle belonging to his or her parent.

When a person’s children go off to college, parents may separate their child’s auto insurance policy from their own, even if they still own the vehicle their child drives. If the young driver has insufficient liability coverage to cover the damages, then the accident victim may have a claim against the vehicle owner’s insurance. In this case, the victim could pursue a claim against the parents of the young driver.

Call Us Today

If you were injured in an accident on or near a college campus, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your damages.

Our knowledgeable lawyers can discuss your claim during a free consultation. If we validate your claim, there is no obligation to take legal action.

Call (844) 678-1800 to get started.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases