Colt Roundup

Student and Driver Safety in the Parking Lot

A+Cottonwood+student+demonstrates+what+can+happen+when+pedestrians+and+drivers+don%27t+pay+attention.
A Cottonwood student demonstrates what can happen when pedestrians and drivers don't pay attention.

A Cottonwood student demonstrates what can happen when pedestrians and drivers don't pay attention.

Joshua Parker

Joshua Parker

A Cottonwood student demonstrates what can happen when pedestrians and drivers don't pay attention.

Bryce Davis, Staff Writer

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Student safety in the parking lot is an issue that needs to be brought to attention. Every day at lunch kids try to race out the doors to get to their cars, then race out of the parking lots to go and get lunch. This puts a lot of students in harm’s way. While a lot of students drive well and pay attention, others drive 25 MPH or faster through the parking lot. If a student walks in front of the car accidentally, they can be hurt extensively. While drivers may think that they are in the clear, a student can walk out of anywhere at anytime and be in the way. This is especially difficult when there are a row of buses that make it hard for both the students trying to cross and students driving to see each other.

How can you stay safe as a pedestrian? As a student who walks, you need to make it your responsibility to stay as far away from the moving cars as possible. There are multiple crosswalks for students to use, as well as sidewalks along the widest part of the parking lot. To avoid any troubles while in between the rows of the cars, walk in the middle of two rows. There is a space made for students to be able to walk, so that they do not have to get in the way of cars. This will significantly lessen the chance of a car hitting you. And finally, be aware, watch your surroundings, and give vehicles their needed space. When student Erika Ramirez was asked about students speeding in the parking lot, she a said, “I feel like my life is in danger, sometimes. I have almost been hit a couple of times this year and I feel as if it could’ve been avoided if the person was driving slower.”

Some students drive very erratically. Pulling in and out of the parking lot, they often go excessively fast. They can also have many distractions including, but not limited to cell phones, other cars, other students, and music. While many students can function with all of these distractions, it may be overwhelming for others. All it takes is a split second of not paying attention for a student to walk in front of a vehicle and be hit. Pay attention while you drive, because students walking could be even more prone to being distracted.

How do you stay safe as a driver? Be aware, there are many students who don’t care about the cars and walk out into the parking lot without looking. Also, anybody pulling out of a stall who can’t see you will have a better chance of being able to stop in time if you are traveling at a slower speed. You also have to watch for other drivers who are cutting through the rows. Be sure to always drive on the correct side of the road. Sometimes students will even instigate a driver to try and make them angry. Elena Nava had an experience with this situation. “So this kid was walking in front of me and when he got in front of the car he started walking slower on purpose and I honked and told him to move and he didn’t listen, so I stepped on the gas and almost rammed him.” Being inconsiderate to a driver just because you are a pedestrian is a bad idea. Even though the pedestrian is irritating the driver, the drivers will still be held accountable for their actions.  If a driver strikes a pedestrian while he or she is in the crosswalk, the driver is responsible and the pedestrian may press charges. Also, car repairs are expensive and unnecessary in that situation. Remember to always watch where you are going, whether you’re on foot or driving a car.

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Student and Driver Safety in the Parking Lot