Driveway run overs occur every week in Australia. Most involve reversing cars and children. Sadly, in many cases the car is driven by a family member.

Here are some tips to help avoid drive overs.

Technology solutions

Reversing Cameras

Many cars are fitted with reversing cameras as standard equipment. They provide a visual image of the area directly behind the vehicle and assist in eliminating potential blind spots.

For vehicles that do not have a reversing camera fitted as standard equipment, there is a range of aftermarket options.

Reversing Sensors

Reversing sensors are fitted to the rear of the car to alert the driver to objects in its path. Some cars have parking sensors at the front as well that serve the same purpose. Some also provide varying warning tones to indicate the distance to the object to aid parking.

They are a common feature of newer cars and like reversing cameras are readily available from aftermarket suppliers.

A combination of reversing camera and sensors will provide the best outcome.

Reverse warning alerts

Reverse warning systems provide an audible warning to alert pedestrians that the vehicle is reversing. They are a common accessory for commercial vehicles and can be easily fitted to the average car. Be aware though that younger children may not understand the meaning of the warning.

Autonomous braking systems

Consider cars that have autonomous braking systems that can detect persons or objects in their path and apply the brakes. Such systems must usually be fitted when the vehicle is built. They cannot generally be retrofitted.

Management solutions include actions such as:

  • Putting the child in the car with you when moving the car.
  • Having another adult take charge of the child when vehicles are moving.
  • Ensuring that children are kept inside the house and away from moving vehicles.
  • Ensuring that driveways are not used as play areas.
  • Walking around the car before moving it.
  • Knowing where children are at all times when moving vehicles.

Engineering solutions

This includes:

  • Considering vehicle design when buying and avoiding vehicles with significant blind spots.
  • Fencing the driveway to separate it from play areas.
  • Use of childproof gates etc to prevent children accessing vehicle areas.
  • Providing appropriate play areas away from moving vehicles.

For more information download the Australian Government’s brochure on Driveway Safety.

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