Careless Driving Earns J-Lot a Bad Rep

L.Stewart

Jessica Coleman and Laila Abtahi

As popular rap group The Pack says, “I’m stuntin’ in my car.” Many Miramonte drivers believe they are “stuntin’” as well. The “J-Lot,” infamous for reckless driving and frequent crashes, has become a danger zone due to over-confidence and lack of awareness while driving. If we don’t want adults to stereotype us as “new irresponsible drivers” then we need to be more attentive in the lot and stop feeding them that image.

The common belief is that driving brings freedom and fun. It can be, if not abused. The lack of attentiveness and low driving standards contribute to the negative image of teenage drivers.
The J-Lot is a force of distraction. Everyday, there is a whirlpool of circling cars, groups of friends blocking parking spots, and blaring music. Moving a car closer to a friend’s car is not necessary when one can walk three feet to say “hi.” Aimless driving is an accident waiting to happen and angers people trying to park.
Skateboarding, tossing a ball around, and jumping on and hanging off of cars demonstrates that teenagers are not responsible. The J-Lot is not a playground.
Senior Troy Akin is one of the students that enjoys skateboarding, doing stunts, and throwing a football around with his friends in the J-Lot.
“We don’t have anywhere else we can hang out. It’s not a playground, but that’s the way we treat it,” said Akin.
If seniors really want to find a place to play, the senior lawn is just around the corner.
The morning before Powderpuff, the junior girls blocked the parking lot by tossing around a football as if it were recess time.
“I don’t know why they were having practice in the middle of the lot. It didn’t really bother me until one of the girls threw a football and it hit my car,” said senior Tyler Townsend.
The worst driving offenses in the J-Lot include texting, fiddling with the radio, scanning the “scene” in the lot, and daydreaming.
Our surveillance determined that one in five cars parked in the lot have major dents or other defects. All of these bumps and bruises cannot be attributed to the driver, or an accident that occurred in the J-lot, but it can be inferred that most of them did happen there because of horrible driving behaviors.
However, one can not assume that if a car is spotless, then the driver is flawless. In September, junior Will Lavis rear-ended junior Dani Vignos, resulting in no harm to either vehicle.
“I was pulling out of the Junior Lot, listening to music and looking down at my phone. I was not even going half a mile-per-hour; it was a baby bump,” said Lavis.
“If I hadn’t waved him over, he would’ve driven away, a hit-and-run,” said Vignos.
At school, students naturally have plenty on their minds. Between stressing about homework or formulating plans for the weekend, distraction is unavoidable.
People back up without looking out their rearview mirror, narrowly avoiding a collision with a car behind them.
Junior Maddie Fischer recently caused an accident with senior Tucker Kahn because she didn’t look in her rearview mirror.
“I was pulling out of a parking spot and should’ve been looking out of my rearview mirror. I was just not being incredibly cautious and then oops, he just went ‘wha’ and hit my car. It was really my fault,” said Fischer.
Drivers should not be reprimanded for building a negative aura around the J-Lot, but instead encouraged to look out for each other.
This immature way of driving is costing us money and our reputation. A typical mishap such as mixing up the gas and brake pedal causes major collisions. Save yourself the embarrassment and stay focused behind the wheel.
“It’s never my fault, it’s always someone else’s fault,” said an anonymous Miramonte driver.
When it comes down to it we are not as experienced as we think. We are not invincible.