The parking lot, sometimes stressful, sometimes empty is a dangerous place. The impending peril varies from day to day and time of the day. One thing that is consistent is the risks students all take when they decide to drive in a very crowded area.
Teenage drivers are usually seen as unskilled and technically lacking. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in 2018, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
Parking lot accidents are one of the most avoidable crashes in the United States. Being aware and focused on what you are doing is a key to avoiding accidents. Terri Roylance, principal sent an email concerning the rules in the parking lot to reiterate the issues students, faculty, and visitors face every day. Roylance said, “We have a police officer in the parking lot during the mornings and at the end of the day. Parents and students tend to be more cautious when there is police presence.”
A common problem is parents parking in the bus lane, a designated area for pickup and drop-off. Roylance said, responding to this issue, “ If the parents would wait 7 minutes and act like school gets out at 2:20 we would have no issue with the parents parking in the bus spots, that is enough time for the bus to leave.” This also reveals the issue of too many people trying to pickup at one time. Most parking lots have issues with this due to a large of amount of people wanting to be there at one time. Parent need to choose either to arrive later, or to park in lot spaces, not in the bus lanes.
Every three years schools have current lines repainted in the parking lot to increase visibility and help direct parents without wasting man power. Roylance said that there have been no reported accidents in the parking lot this school year, making it a relatively safe zone. But, there is no such thing as a perfect parking lot. Students, parents and faculty have the ability to fix the minor problems faced by drivers regularly, by being aware and having everyone work together to be safe and courteous.
Roylance said, “That one act of being negligent and not having awareness of your surroundings can ruin someone’s day. It’s always best to be careful especially on 1300 East. A few years ago, there was a student who was hit and had to be hospitalized for multiple months.” Everybody can be more careful and drive safer to ensure student safety.