Driveway Safety for Children
Driveway safety is a very demanding responsibility for parents or guardians of young children. Even when closely watching your children, it is difficult to react quickly enough when they dart out from your driveway into the street either chasing a ball or riding a toy. Some of the most devastating motor vehicle accidents involving children occur in the driveway.
Driveway safety statistics show that children who do survive sustain severe and permanent physical and brain injuries. In fact, the driveway is the second greatest killer of young children around the home.
Driveway injuries can be prevented by:
• Having a greater awareness of the danger
• Following simple safety rules
• Being more vigilance as parents
Driveway safety is comprised of two categories
Preventing your child from:
• Being run over by a car backing out of the driveway
• Running into the street while playing in the yard
Prevent your child from being run over in the driveway
One third of children under the age of six, who are involved in motor vehicle accidents, were killed in yards, parking lots and driveways. One and two year olds are most likely to be killed or injured in home driveways. The vehicle is usually moving slowly and is often being driven by a parent, relative or friend.
A slow moving vehicle backing down a driveway can trap a child, and cause fatal crushing injuries. Children who do survive often suffer severe long-term injuries.
Small children, particularly toddlers, can be impossible to see if they are directly behind a car. Most drivers are aware of their car’s ‘blind spots,’ and studies show that there is a large “blind spot” behind most cars, particularly when driving in reverse. Even cars with parking sensors or a video camera may not notice a small child until it is too late to stop.
The greatest number of fatal driveway accidents occur on weekdays as opposed to weekends. They usually occur between 8:00am and 10:00am in the morning, and between 4:00pm and 6:00pm in the afternoon. Additionally, most of these accidents occur in good weather and bright conditions.
• Always watch your children and never leave them alone while playing in the yard – especially near parked or moving vehicles
• Ensure their safety by holding their hands or keeping them close to you
• If you are home alone and need to move your vehicle, securely put your child in the car while you move it
• Use security doors, fencing or gates for areas that exit your home to make access to the driveway difficult for young children
• Walk around your vehicle before leaving an area where children have been playing
• Never allow your unsupervised child use your driveway as a place to play
• Create an alternative safe play area for your children
Protecting Your Children from Running into the Street
To deal with this driveway safety problem, many parents use their car to block the driveway or erect a temporary barrier out of wood or whatever else may be lying around the garage. Many of these barriers are not sturdy and children on riding toys can be injured if they collide with the barrier or car.
A better driveway safety solution is called a driveway safety net. It extends across the bottom of your driveway. It is a low-cost, easy-to use portable mesh barrier that acts as a deterrent by preventing children and toys from leaving the driveway and entering the street.
It also acts as a visual barrier to deter automobiles from entering the driveway where children are playing. This is especially important when cars parked on the street next to your driveway can impair a driver’s vision.
Nothing can replace parental supervision as the primary solution to child safety. Proactively watching our children can be a challenge, however it is better to meet the challenge than to suffer the consequences.