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by Christie Stock, president, Discount Tire

With lots of visitors coming and going from your home, driveways often become jammed with vehicles, which increases the chance of accidental backovers on children. Yes, accidents do happen. However, a fair amount of these incidents can be prevented with a little extra awareness. Here are some safety tips to remember for driveways:

  • Walk the perimeter of your vehicle before getting in to ensure no children are near or behind it.
  • Remind guests to do the same
    safety check.
  • Have your children under adult supervision when playing in the front yard, so they stay away from a vehicle and the driveway.
  • Don’t use driveways as play areas. Instead, find a safe spot for children to play that’s away from parked or moving vehicles.
  • Use trash bins to block the driveway when your children are playing in the front yard. This forces a vehicle to slow down and stop before entering.
  • Keep items that may attract children (e.g., bikes and toys) away from the driveway.
  • Park your vehicle so you can pull forward from your driveway.
  • Create a safety zone in your yard, where you teach your children to move quickly when a vehicle is entering or exiting the driveway. Use a simple safe-zone command word so your child can react fast.

Child playing in a driveway

Observe the same safety tips in parking lots as they are hotbeds for potential accidents:

  • Help your children enter and exit the vehicle. Keep a firm hold on their hands when you are around moving vehicles, and allow yourself and your children to be visible to drivers.
  • Do the same perimeter check before leaving a parking spot to make sure no children are in your path.
  • Use even more caution during school and daycare drop off/pick-ups as children are hard to see when they are running to meet their caregivers.

Using these tips and being more aware can ensure we all have a happy, safe time year round.