Lack of visibility and awareness cause most car accidents around Dixie State University.
Students can avoid being in a car accident by following driving guidelines and avoiding certain areas of campus.
Eldon Gibb, DSU campus police officer, said the amount of accidents on campus this year has been about the same compared to other years.
There were 46 accidents on campus in 2010, 69 accidents in 2011, and 51 accidents in 2012. These are mainly fender benders in student parking lots. Don Reid, director of security and campus police, said the average number of accidents is around 50 a year.
Gibb said hot spots in the area for car accidents would be the cross streets of 300 South and 700 East, as well as 300 South and 100 East. The dorm parking also has consistent accidents, mainly due to visibility. The majority of car accidents on campus are caused by students.
Ashleigh Brinkerhoff, a sophomore psychology major from Salt Lake City, said one time she was in the parking lot north of the Edward H. and Idonna E. Snow Science Center looking for a parking spot. A driver at the same time went into reverse and almost backed into her car. She didn’t have enough time to put her own car in reverse, but, thankfully, the driver noticed right before and stopped before hitting her car.
Sgt. Sam Despain, of the St. George Police Department, said accidents happen when people aren’t attentive.
“Typically accidents happen because drivers become distracted, [are] not paying attention, or are not following traffic laws,” Despain said. “Most accidents can be avoided if drivers are attentive and obey traffic laws.”
Erika Almandinger, a junior criminal justice major from Upland, Calif., said she recently was in a car crash on 100 South crossing the 1200 East intersection.
“As I was crossing the 1200 East intersection, a guy went to turn left onto 100 South and came into the intersection failing to stop at his stop sign and apparently not seeing me,” Almandinger said.
Almandinger said she recently got a new car due to a drunken driver hitting her about a month ago. Her new car had minimal damage from the recent accident. The driver who didn’t stop at the stop sign received $1,500 of damage along with the ticket he was given.
“I felt bad for him because I knew it was an accident, but luckily his insurance covered our losses,” Almandinger said.
Almandinger said driving has been more of a hassle since she’s moved to St. George.
“Growing up in California, I had never been pulled over or in an accident, but now that I live around Dixie, I feel like I get pulled over every second,” Almandinger said. “Two accidents in a month just seems out of the ordinary. It’s funny, especially because the speed limits are so slow in St. George compared to California. All I know is that I’m extra cautious now; that’s for sure.”
Despain said there are certain places to look out for to avoid accidents.
“There are busy areas of town, especially around Dixie State,” Despain said. “100 South, 700 East, 1000 East (especially with the construction) during school hours are busy, and drivers should pay extra special attention when traveling in these areas. Regardless of the area or time of day, all drivers should obey traffic laws, be attentive and avoid distractions.”