‘Invisible’ children drive road safety home

Monday, 5 July 2010
Over the past five years in Queensland alone, 196 children aged 0-15 have been seriously injured in low speed run-over events. A further 18 children during that time were killed.

According to Queensland’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, one child every week is run over in their own drive way somewhere in Australia.

To make matters worse, the people responsible for most of these deaths and injuries are the people who love these children the most – their parents.

All it takes is a moment’s inattention, a focus placed on the myriad of things to do in the day, rather than the immediate surroundings that can allow tragedy to strike.

In May this year the organisers of Fatality Free Friday in association with Kidsafe Queensland made a group of children disappear in a dramatic message to all drivers about the inherent blind spots found in all vehicles.

Children under the age of 10, sat down behind four of the most popular sizes of vehicles - a 4WD, a people mover, a family sedan and a hatchback - and from driver’s seat,  and all of them ‘disappeared’.

In fact, a driver in a popular make of full sized sedan cannot see a seated child more than 11 metres behind the vehicle.
While 4WD vehicles were involved in 10 of the 18 fatalities, it is ordinary passenger cars that account for the majority of the accidents causing major injuries. Eighty-four percent of vehicles involved in low speed run over incidents were passenger vehicles.

The good news is these incidents are entirely avoidable. All it takes is a little time and organisation.

When you’re heading out with the kids, make sure that they are in secure in their car seats before you get into the driver’s seat. If the children aren’t going with you, ensure that another adult has all the children inside the house or well away from the vehicle before you depart.

Lastly, take ‘the long way around’ to get to the driver’s seat. Not only does it mean you can check that children aren’t nearby but it also allows you to do a scan for children’s toys or other obstacles laying in the driveway.

For further information:
Russell White
Driver Safety.com.au
Phone: 0419 866 165
Email: [email protected]   

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