It’s no secret that students at any school like to get a little rowdy from time to time – yes, I’m referring to those four nights a week when you wrongly convince yourself that all the studying in the world won’t help you do any better on that test the next morning, so why even try? You should definitely go out with your friends instead. We all fall victim to that, and if you try to tell me you don’t, then you must be crazy.
Instead of worrying about the next morning and just how painful that test is going to be while you’re conquering your school’s nightlife, take a moment to realize where you’re walking. No, seriously. There has been a growing trend among college kids who have decided that jaywalking is totally the way to go. Why wait at a crosswalk for some half-broken automated system to grant you access to walk across the street, a mere fifty feet from one side to the next? I’ll tell you why: because waiting will save your life.
In Tallahassee, at the FSU campus alone, there have been three deaths this semester from the result of students carelessly crossing from one side of the street to the other via jaywalking. It saves you time and distance, and you are probably having fun while playing the “I sure hope that big white truck doesn't hit me” game as you frantically waddle to the median in the middle of the road, ultimately ensuring your halfway point. I’m here to tell you it can’t be fun and games anymore. You are fiddling with the very fine line between life and death, and you don’t even know it.
I get it, okay. You are drunk after leaving your favorite bar and you and your friends just want some Taco Bell. The cabs are taking forever and walking “isn’t that bad” in your drunken state of mind. Although walking is a great way to fight the American obesity epidemic, it’s not the safest thing for you to do at 2 a.m. in an effort to secure that life-saving $1 bean burrito. What you aren’t thinking while walking down that major roadway to the nearest Taco Bell is, “I shouldn’t jaywalk; it’s probably dangerous or something.” And that’s the problem. Most college kids typically aren’t concerned for something that may seem silly at the time, but life-saving for the future.
“Oh, it’s the drunk driving. The drivers are always the ones at fault,” you may be thinking to yourself. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. Just weeks ago on the weekend of the FSU vs. Clemson football game on Sept. 20th, Daniel Pino, a visiting Miami student, crossed a major street in Tallahassee and was struck by a car. The driver was sober, and the accident was just that – an accident.
Daniel was the childhood friend of one of my own fraternity brothers, Jonathan DiPietro. Jonathan recently told me that he thinks, “Kids should stop jaywalking and be more careful, especially now that texting and driving is such a problem; yes, the accident may be the driver’s fault, but that won’t fix any injuries or replace a lost life.”
Daniel passed away just days later in the hospital.
It’s much less work to be careless and decide to run across the street because it’s “just easier” than waiting at a crosswalk. But this way of thinking is a plague among college society, and it needs to be re-evaluated. That thirty seconds you spend rolling your eyes, staring at your end destination across the street, can and will save your life, whether you want to think about it like that or not. Safety first, kids.
I leave you with this: before you run across that heavily congested street thinking, “There’s no way I’m going to be hit,” take a few seconds, stop yourself, and find the next crosswalk.
Listen to your mother, and look both ways before you cross the street. It will save your life.