Dear Drivers: Please let me back out of my parking spot

Every day, I sit in the upper school parking lot and wait to be allowed to back out. Maybe you, reader, can be the one to let me go.


Photo taken by Amelia Sabo

Amelia Sabo, Staff Writer

My keys jingle in my backpack as I rush out of class, searching for Lucy in the courtyard (my little sister, whom I regularly chauffeur to and from school).  It’s go time. I quickly glance at my phone. It’s 3:00pm, I curse under my breath: “We’re too late”.

Rushing out of the gate, I hear Lucy groan as she watches the cars line up, fender to bumper, in front of the senior parking spaces.  At this moment, I realize I won’t be able to back my car out of its spot for another 20 minutes. 

This conflict dominates my every afternoon, so I’ve written a letter that may be of interest to all of you.  It starts like this:

Dear Drivers who don’t allow drivers to back out in crowded parking lots–

Whatever happened to “Help thy neighbor?”  If you observed how our parking lot functions after school, you may be tempted to think that people have forgotten about driving etiquette, and well, morality in general.  Here’s a good rule in general when it comes to driving: If there is space to let a person back out in a crowded parking lot, let them out of their parking space. 

I know that you’ve had a long day and you’re probably itching for Mr. Forester to finally let you pull up to the stop light, but being bumper to bumper with the car in front of you isn’t going to get you home much faster.  And ignoring other people in need isn’t going to get you on anyone’s Nice List this Christmas.  

During the summer, when we were asked to pick our senior parking spots, I chose a space far to the east side of the senior lot, right next to the stop sign that cars pile behind every day. 

The stop sign is a main exit point for student pick up, senior drivers, and faculty, so for the eight students that park near it, getting out is an absolute nightmare. We first thought inching out of our spaces would work, but it didn’t. That just left us idling partially in the road and partially in our spot. Then we tried to all get out by having the first person hold up the line with their car, but that didn’t work either; it took too long and was unfair to the cars behind us. 

So now most of us have resorted to leaving school early or not even attempting to turn the key until the traffic dies down. Some days, I’ll get in my car at 2:57 and not pull out of my spot till 3:20.  By that time, the constant flow of traffic has me banging my head against the steering wheel. 

In the parking spot next to me, senior Dagny Van Aken also faces the same problem. “I’m constantly late for work,” Van Aken said, “because I can’t get out of the lot.  I even had to change my schedule so I arrived on time.” 

Now, if you’re one of those people that cruise by my tail lights as I’m trying to back out of my spot, I’m not saying you’re a bad person. I’m guilty of doing it, too. Sometimes you don’t notice someone trying to pull out until you’re already blocking them, or the line is moving fast and you’re the last person Mr. Forrester is waving. 

But I’m just asking that you— all of us—  pay more attention while driving, and if the line of cars isn’t moving, leave some space for someone to pull out.  We’ll all feel better about it. 

With Love, 

Amelia Sabo

Distressed Driver