Any place there are vehicles there are potential safety issues - including in suburban driveways. The recent tragic news of a driveway fatality involving a toddler in Auckland highlighted some thought provoking facts on the subject.
- One child on average is hit by a car every month in Auckland driveways.
- Five children a year are killed in driveway accidents across the country.
- 88 per cent of children hit by vehicles in driveways are aged under 4.
Those statistics show we need to assume nothing and take nothing for granted before getting into a motor vehicle and manoeuvring around any space where young children are known to be present.
As all parents know, any child under the age of 4 years old has virtually no understanding of the word hazard. They see an open door, they crawl under a motor vehicle to retrieve a ball or simply follow their older siblings into an unprotected environment.
And shared driveways often offer more risk as there is the potential for more unknown traffic to be present. More vehicles are being fitted with parking sensors and/or reverse cameras and they can be fitted as an affordable aftermarket accessory.
Cars left in neutral and/or with only the handbrake to stop it rolling can cause chaos if the handbrake fails to do the job properly. Leave cars in gear and if on a steep hill or driveway, point the wheels in such a way that the car will 'turn' into a built obstacle if it does start to roll.
Devices should never replace the need for the driver to do a quick walk around a vehicle, or to do a head count of known young children in close proximity before entering their vehicle and driving away.
Source: NZ Herald