Accidents on Campus


Riley Zalbert, Staff Writer

As the number of drivers on Suffolk’s Ammerman campus has increased since the school has reopened, so, too, has the number of accidents on the roads.

From 2017 through 2019 there were a total of 240 reports on the campus. With Covid causing much of the campus to shut down from early 2020 through 2021, there were only 34 accident reports. With the campus having all students turn remote and slowly allowing students to come back in early 2021 can be attributes for the low numbers of reports. For this year alone from January to October there have been 29 accident reports.

The number of students on campus the last couple years have attributed to the fear and the covid pandemic itself. The traffic day to day has been significantly less for the past few years because of the pandemic on campus itself. Many students have stuck with the hybrid online learning model allowing those who don’t wish to return to campus the free ability to take their classes wherever they please. But for those that need the in person learning style, the campus is where everything is taking place from classes, sports, the administrative and public safety so there are several different people coming to the campus along with students as it is an open space to the public.

With the different amounts of people coming in each day there are times when traffic on campus will cause a backup from the main light on Nichols to up to the parking lot for the Islip Arts Building. With this amount of traffic at times it can be difficult to navigate parts of campus that get heavily backed up or areas that experience the worst traffic. Some of the worst areas on campus include the eighth and the third parking lots with a large majority happening between these 2 large lots. With the eight, on one side of the campus this is a separate lot that incudes different levels as you drive up the outside ‘ring’ road. Here is where there can also be issues as people are known to past the lots with a disregard to people entering or exiting the different lots. Showing a clear example of the recklessness of some drivers who don’t care for others or aren’t paying attention.

Jacob Yonkers, 19, a business administration major on campus has been commuting to campus for over a year and can’t recall the number of close calls he’s had. “When people are driving up the hill and there are those trying to enter and leave but also those with complete disregard and with that I’ve seen numerous close calls, but I haven’t been in any personally.”

As the years have passed with covid there has been a mass flock to online learning with people still not comfortable to return to campus. As the campus has not seen the number of students it did in previous years, there has been a trend towards less accidents per year if the student body

doesn’t grow to pre-pandemic numbers. In those years from 2017-2019 the campus averaged over 80 accidents per two semesters, and now 2022 with only 29 as of November 1. The trend is downward but that doesn’t mean that accidents and the worry of commuters for these accidents has not weaned.

There are spots on campus that come off as somewhat dangerous if drivers are not careful enough. The main entrance off Nicolls Road and the entrance from South Coleman Rd both feature roundabouts. As you enter the school from Nicolls, this roundabout is a bit harder to manage as it serves for the main entrance to the Brookhaven Gymnasium and the Islip Arts building. As a result, reckless driving occurs when traffic can get backed up at rush hour to leave or when students are rushing to make it to campus on time. In the roundabout some won’t use turn signals, will cross lanes, or cut off other drivers from the roundabout to rush into the gym parking.

Paul Gutman, 19, a historical education major can attest to this as he almost hit someone who was passing around the turn, not knowing how the laws of the road work and not giving Gutman the right of way. As he doesn’t come too early to campus it might also be hard to find parking, “Finding parking is difficult, especially certain times somedays. On Tuesdays I have gym at 10 am, and I can never get parking there, I’ll have to go to the back lots by the Islip arts building but the walk isn’t terrible just sucks I can never make it in time for there to be any open spots.”

Ray Matuza, 20, an applied science major who parks on the far side of campus with the multiple lots. He notices the number of drivers who have turned from the outside right lane to turn into the parking lot completely cutting Matuza off.

“I’m normally going slow because I drive a manual but especially by lot 8. At least 3 times someone has shot from the right lane to cut me off to get into one of those lots and I’m always dumbfounded at the sheer amount of carelessness I see on campus.”