The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Jennifer Wyant
The pedestrian stop sign next to the parking lot crosswalk. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wyant.

Parking Lot Problems

When student drivers get their licenses, they become very aware of the problems that can arise on the road. Graphic videos during Driver’s Ed class, horror stories while completing Behind The Wheel training, and a final speech from a judge all impress upon students the importance of safe driving habits and paying attention when in control of a car. However, not all student drivers heed these warnings.

As a result, there has recently been a number of parking lot accidents at FCHS. These incidents may leave students with an increasing concern about parking lot safety. In addition, victims of the accidents have had a shift in perspective, while students drivers have grown more observant and aware that parking lots can be a tricky place.

“I feel both nervous and scared to think about becoming a student driver next year. Mainly, because people can be very reckless and they lack awareness of their surroundings. I really love my car and I don’t want anything bad to happen to it while being in the parking lot,” said sophomore Kaiya Wrigley.

There are designated traffic rules that apply to both drivers and riders on school property. Regular traffic rules and laws, such as using turn signals, driving defensively (paying attention to the surroundings), watching for and yielding to pedestrians, and obeying the speed limit all apply in the school parking lot. The speed limit in FCHS’s parking lot is 10 miles per hour, and it’s prohibited to drive any faster. In addition, students are not allowed to park in the teacher’s parking lot before or during school hours. If students do not abide by these rules, the school administration has the right to revoke driving privileges on school grounds.

Drivers are not the only people in the parking lot who should be aware of their surroundings. Pedestrians and students standing in the parking lot should also be aware of what is going on around them.

“My friend happened to get hit by another student in the parking lot. The car seemed to only be going at about five miles per hour, but the driver was not paying attention to what they were doing. Because of this, they hit my friend. Luckily, she did not get hurt and only minorly fell. Yet, it still shows the lack of awareness from people at times,” noted senior Jamie Rodriguez.

Not all accidents cause harm to students. Many small accidents in the parking lot occur when drivers in the student parking lot hit another car while trying to park. Unfortunately, these students may not always report the damage. This can result in a student’s car being damaged and the insurance refusing to cover it because there’s no proof that someone else did it. For some damage (dents in the outer body, a broken tailgate, etc.), students can easily fix the problems at their house or a local auto parts store.

“I had to put duct tape on the back left side of my bumper. The plastic inside was rubbing on my wheel, making it more dangerous for me to drive, and the paint was scratched up,” said an anonymous student who experienced an accident at FCHS.

However, cars can also have invisible damage or damage on the inside that is more dangerous and harder to spot.

“The inside damage seemed to be worse than the visible damage. I got my car fixed and it took longer than expected. It took around three weeks for my car to be done. While it was in the shop, it took me some time to get over the fact that the people who did hit my car experienced no damages, while I spent the majority of my spring break without a car,” added the anonymous driver.

If a student does get into an accident in the parking lot, or elsewhere on school property, it is important to notify the school administration immediately. This way an accident form can be filled out by the Student Resource Officers (SROs), which makes it a lot easier for the situation to be handled. In addition, after the accident, students should contact their car insurance provider to see if anything changes or if the insurance will cover damages. Overall, safety as a driver is important to avoid these accidents, and minor damages at FCHS.

“I used to think that the school parking lot was extremely safe, but that changed after I got hit. I now have to make sure I park between two already-parked cars to ensure that [my car] won’t get hit again. I was hit twice in a span of three minutes, then hit again two weeks later in the same parking space,” said one student. “Getting hit reminded me that I need to be grateful that I have a car and to not take it for granted.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Fluco Beat Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *