In an effort to keep our children safer, the Indiana State Police would like to offer residential summer safety tips concerning driveways. With summer upon us, our most valuable resource will be outside enjoying the weather, playing in the yard and in our driveways. Tragically, over 2,400 driveway accidents involving young children happen each year in the United States. The Indiana State Police would like to offer the following tips to help avoid unnecessary tragedy.
1) Set the rules with your children. As with any safety issue (firearms in the house, swimming pools, stairways, household cleaners) no matter what their age, designate steadfast rules without options. Tell your children when they see a car approaching the driveway that they all have to meet up in the yard or when a car is moving in the driveway, “your feet are touching the grass!” Teach your children to watch for the white rear lights that illuminate when a car is in reverse.
2) Listen – Before entering your driveway, roll down your windows and turn your radio off. A radio playing too loud can make for a distraction and cause the driver not to hear a child coming to welcome you home. Cell phone usage can provide that same distraction. Being able to hear someone yell or scream to you could save a child’s life.
3) Count Heads – How many children are supposed to be in your driveway? Don’t neglect the possibility that other children may be playing in the area that you are not aware of.
4) Communicate – Stop your car before you completely roll in to back the car into its parking place. Talk to the children! “Is everybody on the grass?” “How many children are outside?” Tell them what you are about to do and not to move until you do it.
Remember, young children are short and they like to play! If they are in very close to your vehicle, you won’t be able to see them. They may think it would be a fun game to “hide” from you by sneaking up and covering themselves from sight by way of the front or back of your car. Talk to them about this version of “hide and seek”.
Don’t let your summer fun turn into tragedy.
For summer travel safety tips, visit http://www.in.gov/isp/2968.htm