NRMA Insurance and Kidsafe urge parents to supervise their children closely especially when around cars, following publication of Reversing Visibility Index test results.
In a survey of 500 NSW parents, over 90 per cent said they believe driveway safety is an important issue, and worryingly, 70 per cent think the worst is likely to happen in their own driveway*. Kidsafe NSW Executive Officer Christine Erskine said the New Year provides a timely reminder that road safety is critical and children are especially vulnerable around cars.
“Toddlers and young school children move quickly and have no real sense of danger, therefore they could be in the path of a moving vehicle quite suddenly,” said Ms Erskine. On average nationally, seven children are killed each year and 60 are seriously injured after being hit or run over by a motor vehicle at home**.
“The survey also showed that almost one in three NSW parents are letting their children play in the driveway. We strongly recommend that parents avoid letting their children use the driveway as a play area – they can be mini roads with unpredictable traffic.
“Parents should try and find a separate space for children to play and closely supervise them at all times, especially if a vehicle is being moved, as we all want to help avoid the worst happening,” said Ms Erskine.
Parents shouldn’t be complacent about road safety only at home though. Many families are rushing around shop car parks or away on a break in a different environment such as rental accommodation or caravan parks, which can also be busy with cars moving in and out. NRMA Insurance Head of Research Robert McDonald said it’s important all drivers take extra care when reversing.
“Annually we release the results of our Reversing Visibility Index to encourage manufacturers to take into account reversing visibility in their vehicle design and educate drivers about the importance of reversing technology and to remain vigilant about child safety,” Mr McDonald said.
The full results of the NRMA Insurance Reversing Visibility Index can be viewed at www.nrma.com.au/reversing.
* Based on a survey of 500 NSW parents by Pure Profile Research in May 2013.
** Child pedestrian safety: driveway deaths and low-speed vehicle run-overs, Australia 2001–10 (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics; www.bitre.gov.au)