The high school student parking lot provides a few factors which skyrocket the likelihood of traffic accidents: several hundred cars, only two or three lanes of flowing traffic, as well as inexperienced and impatient drivers. The parking lot isn’t always green, either. Depending on your car, every hour wastes around a fifth of a gallon of gas; so averaging a ten minute wait every day will waste about six gallons by the school year’s end. The wasted fuel adds quickly with the amount of cars in the lot.
A few practices can help with the accident-prone traffic and the wasted fuel.
1. Follow the traffic arrows when parking. The lot was designed to make parking easier, and does its job pretty well if you follow the arrows when you park.
2. Pull through or back into your parking spot. You’ll see surroundings better in the after- school traffic if you can look in front of you. Also, nothing impresses that crush of yours more than throwing your ride in reverse and casually maneuvering into spot #48, or wherever you park.
3. Don’t rush. Better to be late than to wreck. Keep in mind if you hit a parked car, even if it’s parked illegally, you’ll be liable for damage to each car as well as any damage to your self-esteem.
4. Turn off your car. If you’re going to idle for more than about ten seconds, you’ll save gas by just turning off the car altogether.
Bonus tip: if you’re trying to warm up your car by letting it idle for a few minutes before driving, quit. It only takes about ten seconds or so for all the oil to start circulating, which is all the car can accomplish in idle. The engine won’t heat up enough to actually warm up your car, and will leave damaging fuel residue since full combustion can’t take place.