Dark Days: Driveway Safety Reminders for Autumn, Winter

Safekids Aotearoa reminds parents of toddlers and young children to be extra vigilant around driveways during these shorter days and longer nights. 

“While driveway run overs happen more frequently during spring and summer, it can also easily happen during autumn and winter when it gets dark earlier,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.

According to Safekids Aotearoa five (5) children are killed each year on average after being run over by a vehicle driving on a private driveway in New Zealand, and every two weeks a child is hospitalized after suffering serious injuries in the same way.

Children at risk are aged between 1 and 3 years old. Sadly parents and close relatives are most often at the wheel. Driveway run overs can also happen when cars reverse and move forward.

“Often the injuries children sustain from run overs are so severe, that they die on the scene. For children that do survive, they often have permanent disability or long term injuries,” Ms. Weaver said.

“Driveway run overs can be prevented if parents can identify a risky driveway, and follow the safety messages CHECK, SUPERVISE and SEPARATE,” Ms Weaver added.

Signs of a Risky Driveways:

  • A long driveway
  • A driveway in a quiet road or cul-de-sac
  • A driveway that also provides pedestrian access to the house (no separate pedestrian pathway)
  • A driveway leading to lots of parking– cars need to be moved around to make room or allow vehicles to
    leave
  • No physical barrier (i.e. fence) between driveway and outdoor play area.

Safety Messages:

  • CHECK—Check where children are before moving the car
  • SUPERVISE—Actively supervise toddlers and small children
  • SEPARATE—have a separate play area, away from driveways

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Media Contact: 
Anthony Rola
anthonyr@adhb.govt.nz
09 631 0717