Parking Lot Safety for Teens

As we get back into the school year, many teens are driving themselves to school for the first time. There are plenty of stressors for parents that come with a new driver in the family, but did you know that almost 20% of car accidents happen in parking lots? Most people affected by parking lot accidents are children, which means school parking lot safety is especially important.

Parking lots near schools are even more hazardous due to the number of drivers and pedestrians congregating at similar times, such as at the beginning and end of the school day.

Help keep your teen safe with these tips and tricks.

  • Stay in the lanes between rows of parking spots. Don’t cut across lanes, even if it looks clear.
  • Drive slowly and use your turn signals. 
  • When backing out, use your mirrors and signals. For extra safety, have a friend or sibling stand outside to look for other cars or pedestrians. 
  • Don’t rely solely on your car’s automation to warn you of danger. Look over your shoulder and in your mirrors when backing in addition to using rearview cameras or sensors.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Buckle your seat belt and adjust mirrors and seats before putting your car into gear. Also, make sure you’re watching what’s in front of you and not just looking for an open spot. 
  • New drivers should park further away from the building. There’s less car and pedestrian traffic further out, which can make it easier to navigate safely. 
  • Go slow! Most parking lot speed limits are 5 or 10 mph. 
  • Get to school early and leave a little late. The earlier your teen gets to school the calmer the parking lot will be. The same goes for the end of the day; if they wait even 15 minutes before leaving, the parking lot will be much calmer.

Now that you’ve discussed parking lot safety with your teen, the next question you might ask is if they should get a job or if they’re ready for more responsibility. The answer is always dependent on your teenager, but we’re here to help you on the journey!