Each week in Australia a child is hit by a slow moving vehicle around the home.
In most cases, the vehicle involved is driven by a parent or someone who knows the child and is reversing at the time. The consequences can be fatal. Children can move quickly and sometimes without warning. Very young children are at the greatest risk of being run over in driveways. Children aged under five account for 90 per cent of children killed and 70 per cent of those seriously injured, often severe and permanent. Young children are not aware of the danger and their size makes them difficult to be seen.
What if your car has a reversing camera?
Whilst reversing cameras and other vehicle technologies can help drivers avoid collisions, there can never be a substitute for the close supervision of children when it comes to driveway safety, Even if a car has parking sensors or a video camera fitted, drivers may not notice a small child until it is too late. Tests conducted on the rear vision of a number of popular cars revealed a large ‘blind space’ behind all cars - in some cars this can be up to 15m.
The following safety measures can be taken to ensure the safety of children in driveways and around cars.
- Supervise, Separate & See
- Supervise - always watch your children when the vehicle is to be moved. Hold their hand or hold them close to keep them safe.
- Separate - separate play areas from driveways & garages
- See - be aware that all cars have a blind space behind them (some up to 15m), always walk around your car first before getting in.
- If you are the only adult at home and need to move a vehicle, place the children securely in the vehicle with you.
- Discourage children from using the driveway as a play area.
- Where possible, prevent children from entering the garage and driveway from the house – consider using self-closing doors, fencing and gates.
- Be aware of the vehicle’s blind space and learn the best way to use the mirrors and any other reversing aids.
- Always walk around your car and check before moving it.
Watch Fitzy and his son Hewie below provide some safety tips to prevent these tragedies. Walk around the car first, know where your kids are at all times.