Motorists advised to exercise caution around driveways and footpaths

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Drivers are reminded to exercise caution around driveways and footpaths after a relaxing of Covid19 lock down during which children became accustomed to traffic free driveways and streets.

Drivers are reminded to exercise caution around driveways and footpaths.
”As a driver, it is your responsibility to make sure the area around your vehicle is safe, especially around residential driveways where children could be playing,” said Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer at Mayo County Council, who wants people to be aware of the problem of limited rear vision and the danger it poses, especially to children. Any type of vehicle can be involved in a low speed run over as many popular family cars have large blind spots.
The council says that the tragedy can be even greater in cases where there is a child fatality as a result of reversing because most of these cases occur in the family driveway with a member of the family behind the wheel.
“We don’t think of small children as being in danger in such a familiar environment – but they are! Small children are naturally inquisitive and they can move surprisingly quickly.”

Keeping some simple ideas in mind can make a huge difference to the safety of children in your care. The vehicle is usually only moving slowly and is often being driven by a parent, family member or friend.
· Small children are naturally inquisitive and want to see what’s going on. They can also move surprisingly quickly.
· In the time it takes for the driver to say goodbye and start the car, a child can move from a ‘safe’ position onto the driveway and into the path of the vehicle.
· Small children can be impossible to see from inside a car, especially if they are immediately behind it.
· The rear vision of a number of popular cars has been tested and results show that there is not a ‘blind spot’ but in fact a large ‘blind space’ behind most cars.
Even if your car has parking sensors or a video camera fitted, you may not notice a small child until it is too late to stop. And remember, children are run over by vehicles moving forward as well as reversing.

“These terrible driveway accidents are occurring simply because children aren’t being seen in time. Because most of these accidents occur when the vehicle is reversing, one solution is to remove the blind spot behind the vehicle. Modern vehicles, especially SUVs, don’t have effective rear vision. You can look in all three mirrors and yet miss a full-sized pram behind you, let alone a crawling child.”

“No parent can know where their kids are 100% of the time. Keeping track of one toddler is a fulltime job. Keeping track of more than one toddler is a nightmare; the larger the family, the greater the risk. You can’t change children, but you can change your car, so a toddler darting out of the house onto your driveway doesn’t become the next tragedy. No one is claiming this technology is fool proof. Adults still have to take care around young children. Reversing cameras and beeping parking sensors simply give more information to the driver, in the same way rear view mirrors give more information to the driver.”

“Children don’t have a concept of danger and they can be unpredictable. They can run behind a moving vehicle in an instant.”

Driveways are dangerous
Don’t rely on parking sensors or a reversing camera, you may not notice a small child until it is too late to stop.
Check the rear-view mirror, look over your shoulder before reversing and always supervise children who are near a moving vehicle
Driveways should be treated with the same caution as roads, the same dangers are present.
Take particular care for your child’s safety, especially when cars are pulling in and out.

The council says that it feels that if a person gets into the habit of reversing into their parking space in work it will lead to motorists doing the same in their homes.

Make it a daily habit… Take the 30 seconds to do the 360 Walk Around Circle for Safety (just walk around your vehicle before you get into it and look for any hazards)

“Vehicles can be fixed, a life can’t – Practice 360° Walk Around Circle for Safety at home and at work.”