A hit and run accident was my introduction to CSUEB

2015 redesigned Pioneer logo.

Tam Duong Jr.

2015 redesigned Pioneer logo.

Robert Glasspole,

I was involved in hit and run accident on Sept. 21 while parked near the bookstore in Lot A.

As a student who commutes to Cal State East Bay daily from San Mateo, parking is the most stressful part of my drive. Drivers can be easily distracted while driving in parking lots which leads to accidents. Two out of every three people are distracted while driving through parking lots, according to the National Safety Council, a non-profit health and safety organization.

As I approached my car, I noticed what I thought was a ticket on my windshield, but quickly realized the note was left by a fellow student. The note read, “Hi, someone hit your car and then left. Their license plate is [redacted]. I have photos if you want to show insurance. They hit your passenger side door around 7:50 a.m.” I looked at the passenger side of my car and found a scrape from the start of my the front door to the end of my back door.

In a study conducted by the NSC in November 2016 to assess parking lot distractions, 63 percent of the drivers said they program their GPS navigation system in parking lots. 50 percent of drivers send and receive emails. 52 percent of drivers use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 49 percent said they take pictures and videos while driving through parking lots. 43 percent of the people polled admitted to using their smartwatch, 43 percent said they browse the internet, 42 percent of drivers use video chat while driving through parking lots.

Roughly 14 percent of all vehicle damage claims occur while inside of parking lots, and one in five accidents happen in parking lots, according to DriversED, a driver’s education website accredited by the Road Safety Educators’ Association and the Driving School Association of the Americas.

Roughly 80 percent of students who attend Cal State East Bay commute to campus, and the other 20 percent live in dorms, according to Derek Lobo, director of Parking and Alternative Transportation. Approximately 8,300 students purchase parking permits each quarter, and 2,000 temporary parking permits purchased daily.

The university has a total of 5,474 parking stalls on campus; 4,355 for students, 739 reserved for staff, and 31 for motorcycles. Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. is the busiest time on campus, Lobo said.

The university just completed a five year plan, during which parking and road improvements took place every summer. This last summer, parking lots J, L, and M were re-asphalted and upgraded. “Since we started that, we probably added a good 250 spots. Roads were repaved and restriped,” Lobo said.

The accidents are reported directly to University Police, but there have been more acts of vandalism than accidents. Lobo could recall just just two or three reported parking lot accidents in the last five years. The campus has, in recent years, experienced multiple cases of vandalism. About 10 cars were broken into on the East Loop last month, according to Lobo.