Student must be cautious when driving around town

Opinions Columnist | Journalism Sophomore

Students need to be aware of the potential dangers of driving in a college town.

Driving is supposed to get us from point A to point B, hopefully in one piece. Unfortunately, it has recently come to my attention that driving in the City of San Marcos is not an easy task. The dangers of driving in a town full of young, partying kids and confusing city streets becomes all too real from the moment the key is turned.

On the streets of San Marcos, I have witnessed some of the worst driving habits of my young life. I have seen T-bone accidents narrowly avoided, cars swerving in between lanes, sudden stops and countless incidents of people being cut off. It is not hard to drive using basic observational skills, nor is it hard to use common courtesy when behind the wheel.

It is an immense responsibility to be behind the wheel of a car and, as cliché as it may sound, it is a privilege, not a right. All too often, the reality of just how big of a responsibility driving is only sets in when cars collide. According to a Nov 10, 2013 USA Today article, hit-and-run accidents, specifically fatal ones, are rising. A young student might not be thinking straight after getting into an accident, and acting upon impulse they make the terrible decision to just flee the scene. I have been a victim of this crime—recently I walked outside to discover a fresh dent in my baby.

According to a Sep.6, 2013 USA Today College article, drivers aged 20-24 got into accidents at more than double the rate of their older counterparts. These numbers are quite startling, but not surprising, especially in a city like San Marcos. Students are likely to experience poor driving in San Marcos because of the overall confusing roads of downtown and the constant construction going on around the city. Accidents and poor driving are bound to happen when you have lanes partially closed, construction vehicles hindering traffic and countless amounts of debris scattered throughout the roads.

When I asked other students about driving downtown, I often heard horror stories of people seeing cars going in the wrong direction of downtown’s many one-way streets. Additionally, there are stories of cars slamming on their brakes to avoid hitting jaywalking pedestrians.

As daunting as it may seem, driving is a task that everybody must face. If drivers remember the simple rules of the road and follow basic defensive-driving habits, a massive amount of anxiety can be avoided. Just stay aware of the texting teens, the overly inebriated drivers and the lost, visiting parents. Of course, if all of this seems too much, the bus is always an option.