Driving Dangers

Students need to be cautious, even in parking lot


The North Star the parking lot can be a very dangerous place, not only due to unsafe teenage driving, but also because some parents aren’t driving as safely as they should.

Distracted driving accounts for 285 percent of all accidents in Nebraska. Whether it’s the radio, kids, siblings, pets, or, more commonly, a phone.

According to an article published in April 2019 by Nebraska Medicine drivers on cell phones can miss up to 50 percent of what goes on around them. Texting and driving is six times more likely to cause and accident than driving while intoxicated.

It can be difficult for people of all ages to tune out distractions and focus on the road, which can cause drivers to not see another car, ignore a stoplight or stop sign, go off of the road, ignore caution signs, not see pedestrians/medians/trees, speed on wet or slick roads.

Most people assume accidents in the parking lot are solely caused by students due to their lack of experience compared to adults. However, accidents are caused by parents just as often as they are by students. Some of the biggest issues are caused by the entrances and exits, the crowded lines trying to get in and out, speeding, disregarding the right-of-away, and not looking out for pedestrians.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, senior Carter Probst and his brother Kade were walking from his car to the school in the morning when a parent hit him with their car.

Thankfully, Probst was okay. He went straight to his class and messaged his mother, letting her know what happened. His mother called the non-emergency hotline as well as the school to inform them of the incident.

Probst had to get a check up in an ambulance outside the school, accompanied by Principal Zabawa. He was declared okay and was sent home for the day.

Instances like Probst’s are why everyone needs to stay focused while driving, especially when in a busy area.
If the parent had been going any faster, or if Probst had not been quick to react, the outcome could have been much worse.

Other accidents that have occurred in the North Star parking lot include, fender benders due to speeding or not looking properly when backing up, hit-and-runs, and crashes when the weather is bad.

It is important to pay attention as both a driver and a pedestrian because others may not be paying attention to you.
When driving, watch for other vehicles and pedestrians. Use turn signals and do not speed. Follow the directions of signs and keep in mind there are times when you may need to go slower than the designated speed limit.

Also remember that being late is a far better cost than causing harm to someone or something else.

If there is an accident, do not drive away; stop and check to see what happened and exchange contact information.