Parking Lot Safety


Photo from: Riley Adamson

Recently, I was in a very minor accident in the school parking lot. My car was dented and I had to make an insurance claim. This really got me thinking about teen car accidents.

Looking into statistics about teen car crashes, I discovered from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Protection) that it is the number one cause of death for teens in the United States. One theory, coming from GNR Technologies, a parking lot safety technology company, is “because individuals are least concentrated on driving and more focused on finding a parking space.” In my own personal experience, this seems like a very likely explanation.

Sierra Kozak, a sophomore at Coeur d’Alene High School, and Katie Creekmore, a sophomore at Lakeland High School, report that the parking lots at other schools in the area are just as dangerous as our own. Kozak says, “Usually the adults who drop off their kids think they own the parking lot. Some people drive like idiots and can’t park to save their life. The majority of people are alright, though.” Creekmore adds, “It takes like twenty minutes to get out on a good day, and God forbid if you have to turn left out of the parking lot. It’s impossible. I park at Super One.” Like Creekmore, a lot of students find the school parking lots either too dangerous or too congested to park in and have to park at nearby establishments like grocery stores or gas stations and then walk the rest of the way to get to the school.

In many cases, there is the issue of a lack of visibility. People in big trucks are not always able to see smaller cars. For smaller cars, backing out can be an issue if the driver can’t see around a larger car to check for oncoming traffic. Issues caused by lack of visibility are common in parking lots, but they are not the only issues. Pedestrians or people walking to their cars have little to no respect for drivers. These people often walk or run behind cars that are trying to back out without either noticing or caring. This, especially the running, causes a lot of stress when you are trying to get out of the parking lot.

These and other problems can be fixed if there was just a little bit more parking lot etiquette. If people walked using the designated crosswalks and were conscientious about their surroundings, there would be a lot less cause for stress. Another thing that Lake City drivers could do to improve the condition of the parking lots would be to follow the speed limit posted at the entrances to the parking lot. It does seem unnecessarily slow, but in the cases of backing out without good visibility, it could help prevent a lot of accidents and stressful situations. However you choose to get to school, be careful in the parking lots and make sure you are aware of your surroundings.