How to Solve Safety Issues in High School Parking Lots4 min read
When you think about high school safety, parking lots usually do not concern us – but they probably should. High school parking lots are some of the most congested spaces during rush hours, which is why it’s difficult to solve safety issues in high school parking lots.
There are students walking around searching for their cars or bikes, inexperienced drivers trying to park, and teens alighting on school buses to get back home, all in the shortest possible time. Impatience is only one part of the problem. The other is distracted high schoolers.
Given that a large proportion of crashes occur in parking lots (up to 50,000 accidents yearly), you’d expect high schoolers to be vigilant in these areas. However, that’s not the case. According to National Safety Council’s public opinion poll, 59% of teens would groom themselves in parking lots, while 60% of them would spend time on their phones. These teens may also forget basic driving rules like wearing a seatbelt, keeping a safe distance between vehicles, and more, thus making them extremely prone to accidents.
Now, as the owner of a parking lot, there’s only so much you can do to ensure high schoolers don’t run into trouble by making your high school parking safer. How?
Let’s look at the common problems of a typical high school parking lot and how you can fix them.
How to Solve Safety Issues in High School Parking Lots
1. De-Congest Your Parking Lot
Most high schoolers want to rush home as soon as possible after school, even if it involves not abiding by parking lot regulations like keeping speed in check. This opens doors to accidents during rush hour, especially if there isn’t sufficient room for movement between vehicles.
To avoid this, make sure your parking bays have adequate space to accommodate motions like reversing, turning around a corner, etc., comfortably.
2. A single entry and exit point for vehicles
Many parking lots have a single entrance and exit point. This slows the movement of vehicles drastically, making it easier to get into accidents during school entry and exit times when students are in a rush.
Want to avoid this? Simply increase the number of exit and entry points and develop a protocol to ensure orderly movement around these points.
3. Extended parking spot booking times
High school parking is often based on a permit system. And many high schools only provide all-day parking permits to students. So, if a student leaves earlier, the parking bay is left unutilized. Such inefficient permit management forces other students to park their vehicles outside campus, where it’s easier to get towed, or worse, meet with a crash.
To avoid this, you can install an automated permit system that grants permits based on parking bay availability. Not only does this solve the problem of extended booking times, but it does so without needing any supervision.
4. Unsegregated car parking lines
A high school parking zone accommodates a range of vehicles from student vehicles, parent drop-off vehicles, school vans, buses, etc., for different periods. For instance, parent drop-off vehicles leave immediately, whereas student vehicles remain parked the entire day. Having a single parking line for these vehicles only causes congestion and increases the time required for parking.
So, segregate your car parking lanes depending on the parking requirement and the size of the vehicle. Along with reducing the parking time required, doing this reduces the chances of accidents, especially those caused due to blind spots while parking or driving.
5. Speeding in parking lots
With impatient teens speeding in parking lots just to get out of school earlier, there’s always the danger of getting into a vehicular crash. So, install speed bumps in your parking lot at key points. Ensure these are easily visible by painting them in bright colors or putting up a sign alerting their presence. Doing this gives the drivers a chance to slow down, thereby preventing any damage caused due to a sudden speed bump.
The easiest way to protect high schoolers from accidents is by redesigning your parking lot to make them safer. Often, it involves solving problems like space, entry and exit points, and disorganised parking protocols effectively.
In fact, you can solve safety issues in high school parking lots with technology. For instance, using an automated parking solution can help you manage your available parking space, distribute permits automatically, and even streamline parking.