The Importance of Driveway Safety

Research carried out by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RSoPA) shows that, sadly, at least 39 children have been killed on, or near, the driveways of their homes since 2001. Twenty-eight of these accidents have occurred since 2008. Consequently, RoSPA has been campaigning to raise awareness regarding the importance of driveway safety.

In the majority of cases, an adult member of the child’s family, a neighbour or visitor to the house was driving the vehicle responsible. This can be highlighted by a recent case in 2017, in which a mother did not realise that her child was not in the car when she proceeded to reverse off her driveway.

Reduce driveway accident risks:

In order to prevent these tragic accidents from occurring, it is imperative to recognise that cars are not a safe place for children to play.  Children should not be left unattended in a vehicle, even if the engine is switched off.  There are a number of risks within cars, such as electric windows, choking, and fire hazards. These risks can result in serious consequences for young children.

It is advisable to explain to young children that they should not play in or play around parked cars. Small children who are close to the vehicle’s bumpers may be less visible to drivers of larger vehicles, such as 4×4’s and pick-up trucks.

If possible, in order to reduce the risk of an accident occurring, reverse on to the driveway and drive off forwards.  When parking on a slope, always park in gear and turn the wheel so if the car moved it would be stopped by the kerb, or something similar.  Always be aware of your surroundings and where children are.

A survey was undertaken by RoSPA, in association with the Iain Goodwill Trust in 2010.  This concluded that the majority of parents were unaware of the possibility of an accident occurring involving their children and a car at home. The risk of accidents occurring can be reduced by carrying out the simple steps detailed above.

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