Parking lot frenzy causes accidents, can be avoided

Katie Wells, Staff Writer

A couple seconds is all it takes. Adjusting the radio, glancing at a text message, taking a sip of your latté.
According to the New York Times, an average car made in the United States weighs 2,000 pounds. An entire ton colliding with anything is dangerous for those involved.
Campus police officer Dennis Randall said many of the wrecks in the parking lot are caused by inexperienced drivers. Though many wrecks go unreported, there have been four this year on the record.
Randall said when wrecks are reported, the students exchange phone numbers and then inform their parents. If there is a conflict between the families, the campus officers fill out an accident report form for insurance purposes.
Randall said costs from wrecks vary.
“Where you think would be a small bumper scratch, you have to replace the whole bumper,” Randall said. “Newer cars are getting a whole lot more expensive than the older cars.”
Randall said he sympathizes with the parties involved in wrecks.
“It’s traumatic,” Randall said. “You go, ‘What do I do now?’ I know what the cost factor is. As a parent, if it’s my child’s fault, I’ve got to repair the other vehicle.”
Junior Allison Golbach was stopped at an intersection when a school bus hit her vehicle.
“I was talking to my brother, and I was like, ‘That bus better not hit me,’” Golbach said. “It was making a left hand turn, and we were completely stopped. The bus kept going and hit the front left side of my car. I was just in absolute, complete shock because I only had the car for less than a year.”
Sophomore Ryan Casey wasn’t present when an accident involving his Chevrolet Trailblazer occurred.
“Someone hit my car,” Casey said. “There were a whole bunch of white markings and scratches across the front bumper.”
Casey opted to return home afterwards, rather than locate the culprit. Casey’s parents did not pay to repair the damage.
“I was like, ‘What an unfortunate circumstance,’” Casey said. “My car is kind of hard to miss. Like, wow, learn to drive.”
Randall said the best way to avoid an accident in the parking lot is driving slowly and staying alert.
“The slower you go the better, especially pulling into the parking spots,” he said. “Don’t be a distracted driver with your stereo really loud. Just go real slow and pay attention to your surroundings.”