Another tragic, preventable death of a teen that was backed over while sunbathing in her driveway.
Every week 6 children in the United States are injured from being backed over by a vehicle in a driveway or parking lot. This is equivalent to one average sized classroom of children every week that are injured from being backed over by a vehicle ranging from toddler-ages to teens.
While 50% of these injuries happen in driveways from vehicles backing-up, children are also injured on sidewalks and in parking lots. Drivers are not aware of the child and often the child is unaware the driver was moving the vehicle. While most newer vehicles have back up cameras and sensors, while these are helpful, drivers need to take more caution of children around their vehicles and parents be more aware and educate older children and teens.
TODDLER AGES: For parents and caregivers of toddler aged children, practice "safe" play areas such as lawns, porches or patio (being cautious of multilevel fall risk of course).
OLDER CHILDREN & TEENS: For parents and caregivers of older children and teens remember that these children often become more focused on their own activity, not their surroundings. Their brains are also not yet developed to understand risk. Nor do they have the experience to understand the dynamics of driving a vehicle (i.e. difficult to see while backing, difficult to see in blind areas, unable to stop quickly, etc.).
It is for these reasons that Dr. Safety urges drivers to practice the "Tips For Drivers" below and parents and caregivers model in their own behavior and teach their children the "Tips for Older Children and Teens. Remember practice safe behaviors and Watch Before You Back!
- Walk around the back of your parked vehicle to check for children-or anything that can attract a child like pets or toys -under or behind your vehicle before getting in and starting the engine.
- When backing, remember your car crosses a sidewalk where children could cross on a bicycle, walking, or running. A simple honking of your horn will alert others you are backing out.
- After exiting a vehicle, always hold your child’s hand. If you have other children, have each hold another’s hand.
- When walking with your children teach children how to recognize when a driver puts a car in reverse (white back-up lights turn on).
- When going back to your vehicle, look around for children who might be around when backing up.
Tips for Older Children & Teens
SIDEWALKS (walking, running, or riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, blades)
- Be aware of “blind” driveways and alleys where delivery trucks and cars may be backing up.
- If you see the white “back-up” lights turn on, on a vehicle, you must STOP!
- These light turn on when a driver makes the car go backward to let people know they are backing-up. Let the car back away, then continue walking.
- Be aware of vehicles that back-up by looking for their “white” back-up lights. If you see them turn on, you STOP, back away & let the vehicle backup.
- Always walk, never run.
DO NOT PLAY OR RELAX ON DRIVEWAYS
Educational Material (click above to download)
Awareness Flyer (click above to download)
CONTACT DR. SAFETY: DrSafety@proconsumersafety.com
For injury prevention information or media advisory contact Pro Consumer Safety