Don’t (tire) tread on me: parking garage etiquette shouldn’t be forgotten

It’s time we talk about something, Baylor. Something that threatens the precious lives of us students on a daily basis. Something that plagues the campus every day.

It’s time we talk about parking garages.

No, this is not another whine-fest about the lack of parking on campus. This is about the danger that lurks around every parking garage corner.

For far too long, students have mistaken these structures for NASCAR racetracks. They are not, in fact, NASCAR racetracks. They are parking garages, where cars park and pedestrians walk.

Just so we’re clear: parking garage ≠ NASCAR racetrack.

It’s no secret that college students are not regarded as the best drivers to begin with. But it seems the automotive-challenged qualities of Baylor students are exacerbated by the confines of parking garages. Maybe it’s the dim lighting that confuses us. Maybe it’s the concrete. Either way, speeding, texting while driving and failing to drive on the appropriate half of the lane make campus parking garages deadly.

The peak time for parking garage danger is the 15 minutes between each class. Students, obviously in a rush to get to class on time, often forget that other cars are also speeding to class. On a daily basis, students narrowly avoid car accidents while carelessly making fast, wide turns around corners.

This kind of driving also poses a threat to pedestrians traversing the parking garage warzone. Speeding and texting while driving aren’t a fun combination for people walking to and from their cars. There’s really no way to feel fully confident that you won’t be run over.

The good news is we’re all pretty bright people. We go to Baylor, for goodness’ sake. This means we can all take practical steps to make parking garages safer for all who use them:

1. Drive the speed limit. Yes, there are speed limit signs posted in the parking garages. No, they are not set for 60 mph.

2. Keep an eye out for pedestrians. We know it’s tempting to turn people into human speed bumps when you’re five minutes late for class for the third time this week, but don’t do it. It’s not nice.

3. Don’t hit parked cars.

4. If you can’t manage No. 3, at least leave a note with your insurance information. Personal responsibility and owning up to our mistakes are something we should probably learn early on in life.

5. Drive on the right side of the lane at all times. The parking garage is not a runway for your car. Get out of the middle of the street.

6. Take corners slowly. More than likely, another car will be turning from the opposite direction at the same time as you. Let’s not have any kissing headlights.

Students who own vehicles on campus have a responsibility to keep themselves and those around them safe. Adopting safe driving habits, particularly in parking garages, can help accomplish this. We want to keep our cars and pedestrians as intact as possible. Let’s take steps to see this through.

If all else fails, just remember: you are not a NASCAR driver.