The combination of driveways and your children can be a deadly one. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye while a parent is performing a mundane task like backing their car out of the driveway; disaster can sadly be just feet away. We all know how much kids love playing outside in the driveway. This puts them squarely in a dangerous zone where they can be injured by a moving car. It’s an alarmingly easy mistake to make that happens frequently. So many families have been devastated when their children are injured or killed by the family car.
In the U.S., fifty children are backed over every week. Of these fifty, two are fatally injured, and most victims are between only twelve and twenty three months old; they are just little innocent toddlers who have no awareness of the danger a moving car poses. They just innocently toddle out into the driveway following their parents, right in the way of the moving vehicle. Most accidents occur when drivers cannot see children in their car’s blind spot, the space behind the car that is not visible from the driver’s seat. Since trucks, vans, and SUVS have the largest blind spots, the majority of accidents are attributed to these vehicles. Fortunately, with more awareness, most of these accidents are preventable.
Here are a few easy tips to ensure that your children are kept safe in your driveway.
- Always walk all the way around your car before backing out of the driveway. These few seconds could save your child’s life.
- When young children get in or out of the car, hold their hands and guide them to a safe area where the driver can easily see them.
- When you’re behind the wheel, remember to back up slowly and always pay attention to your mirrors.
- Consider purchasing a car that is equipped with a back-up camera and alarm, especially when your children are very young.
Hopefully, all these measures will reduce the number of children who are injured where they should be the safest…their own homes. The prevention of such accidents is possible and in our hands. This is a problem that we can fix!
Your comments are welcome at my blog, www.docsmo.com. Until next time.
Written collaboratively by Keri Register and Paul Smolen M.D.