By Sami Esquivias,
With 1700 students and 200 parking spaces, it’s no wonder that there have been multiple collisions in the Davis High parking lot. An inexperienced driver in an overcrowded parking lot creates a lot of possibilities for things to go wrong.
“Driving to school, I’m not exactly aware of my surrounding [be]cause I’m not fully awake just yet. And if it’s not that then it’s after school and I just want to get home,” senior Wally Perez said.
Rushed students add to the chaos in the DHS parking lot.
“I’ve seen many students running to class after parking their cars. Either their alarms didn’t go off or they were stuck in the jammed parking lot,” campus supervisor Kathleen Hunter said.
There are no excuses for being late due to the parking lot overcrowd; students at DHS won’t be excused from class due to their tardiness.
“I’m giving advice to any new drivers that if you don’t come to school early, you will probably be late, and that’s not the best feeling in the world,” Perez said.
Principal William Brown suggests students worried about being late due to parking simply get to school earlier.
“If you can get [to DHS] by 7:20 a.m. you’ll be able to park wherever you like […] The later you arrive the more likely you are to have to work to find a spot […] The early bird gets the worm, the same is true for parking spaces at school,” Brown said.
The California Department of Motor Vehicle states that the greatest risk of traffic collisions is generally acknowledged to be among teenage drivers.
“I’ve worked here for 19 years, so I’ve witnessed a lot [in the parking lots],” Hunter said.
Collisions between student drivers can cause damage to the car and sometimes to the students driving.
“I’ve only seen an accident once and it wasn’t that bad,” junior Kirsten Chasten said. “It was raining hard and I don’t think either people backing up could see through their rear-view mirror. Before they knew it, they collided,” Chasten said.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, transporting passengers under 20 years of age, at any time for the first 12 months of driving as a minor, is illegal.
“The students [that have their license for less than a year] should [adhere] to the ‘no driving other students’; it’s not just me talking, it’s the law. We see you do it,” Hunter said.
Many drivers in one parking lot can cause future problems, especially once winter season begins.
“Be prepared for the weather [change]. Plan for slower traffic. Be extra careful […] stay off your phones, pay attention to your surroundings […] follow the rules,” Brown said.