GreatCall(R) 5Star(TM) Safety Survey: Parents Fear Kids Going Back to School

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College campus safety a key concern with more than 80% of parents worried about kids on campus after dark

GreatCall, Inc., a leader in wireless services focused on enabling people to stay connected, safe and healthy, today announced results of the company’s 5Star Safety Survey, conducted by TNS Global in conjunction with the National Safety Council’s Safety Month. This is the third of a three-part series on general public safety across America for a variety of ages and lifestyles. The survey found that as students prepare to go back to school, more than half of parents feel that their children are not prepared for their own safety.

This concern is heightened when it comes to children starting college. An overwhelming 86% believe this group is most at risk of putting themselves in vulnerable situations, and it’s no wonder: high profile crimes put campus safety in the media spotlight and show parents that college campuses can be dangerous. According to the survey, situations parents are most fearful of include:

   — 86% — Riding in cars with friends who have been drinking


   — 80% — Walking alone on campus after dark


   — 67% — Going on dates with people they don’t know well

The survey showed that parents’ most common advice to their kids is: not to get in a car with anyone they don’t know (87%), not talk to strangers (83%), and to carry a cell phone at all times (60%). Yet a shocking percentage of respondents admitted that they don’t follow many of these “common sense” safety procedures themselves and regularly engage in activities such as walking or jogging in sparsely developed areas (72%), forgetting to lock their doors at night (71%), and going on blind dates without letting someone know where they are going (58%).

“Whether it’s a 911-level emergency or an everyday situation in which someone is feeling vulnerable, our goal is to use technology to enable people to be more prepared for the unexpected,” said Bill Yates, VP of Marketing and Sales at GreatCall.

GreatCall, the creators of the 5Star Urgent Response service recommends three easy-to-follow tips to help students be more prepared as they go back to school:

Walking on Campus

   — There’s safety in numbers so travel with others as much as you can.  It’s

      much safer to walk along well-traveled and well-lit sidewalks  than it is

      to walk alone through darkened areas. Using headphones or looking at

      cell phone texts separates you from the realities of your surroundings

      and makes you vulnerable to danger. By putting these away, it’s much

      easier to see other people in the area and hear if  anyone approaches.

Going on Dates

   — If you are going on a date with someone you don’t know well it’s better

      to meet the person in public and choose to meet at a location, rather

      than having him/her pick you up. It’s also important to share your plans

      with close friends and family and let others know of your location to

      create a “buddy system.” Be careful not to get intoxicated with someone

      you don’t know well and trust your instincts. If something feels off,

      get out of the situation and call someone right away.

Getting Home

   — When it comes to drinking and driving, college students not only need to

      monitor their own alcohol consumption, but they must also be aware of

      whether the person they are getting a ride home from is intoxicated.

      Designate a driver before you go to a party, and if the driver has been

      drinking–no matter how little–do not get in a car with them. And

      always protect yourself by wearing a safety belt at all times.