Temperatures drop and with it parking lot safety

Aly Kinzel, Reporter

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Teen driving is a concern that affects everyone, particularly every day in Waunakee’s parking lot. Students don’t necessarily prioritize or take the safety of others into consideration, especially at the end of a long school day. Many teens have been involved in car accidents on school property. Street safety is an extremely important aspect that Waunakee needs to continue to enforce in order to assure the security of all students. 

Over 1,300 students attend Waunakee High School. That being said, 1,300 people, not including over 150 staff members, need to safely arrive and leave school. This giant rush occurs twice a day, for 180 days. Inevitably, there are going to be some complications every once in a while, that concern the student, parent, and teacher population. Many would agree with Principle Borowski when he says, “I worry sometimes when kids are leaving in a rush, especially past the greenhouse. We’ve had issues because kids cross the crosswalk while others rush down the hill. They’re excited to leave, they aren’t thinking about people walking.” High school students prioritize their own agenda and rarely pay enough attention to those around them.

Similarly, inattention and awareness of other drivers is a major detriment to accidents teens experience. Many accidents occur when someone is simply pulling out of a driveway or parking space. Sophomore Ezzy Sanchez says that in order to avoid these accidents, “People shouldn’t blast music and instead look more carefully around them.” Junior Nick Kokott agrees when he says, “I play my music extremely loud, I can definitely see how it could be distracting.”

Other problems arise when teens put other things before safety. Junior Ashlyn Jakacki notes how she always thinks too much about what people around her are thinking rather than the safety itself. “I get nervous when I feel like there are irritated cars behind me for taking too long,” she says. “They pressure me and I feel like that’s where most accidents happen.” This is a common theme among high schoolers; many students feel pressured by the cars around them and influence them to do things they may not be entirely comfortable with. 

Teens also disregard the fact that something could very well happen to them, when they are statistically the most at risk when it comes to automobile accidents. Senior Raina Bogost says, “I kind of thought it would never happen to me, teens think that they’re invincible, so sometimes I feel like I have different roles than other people on the road.” Accidents happen more often than one would expect, so if teens take the risk they bring when they drive more seriously, the issues could potentially decrease. Almost 200,000 teens between the ages of 15 and 19 are killed or injured in car accidents every year, and cars are the leading cause of death for teens.

Teen drivers at Waunakee High School could potentially have an affect on anyone on any given day of the year. Awareness and attentiveness is beyond important in order to avoid accidents and make sure everyone is safe.