You can probably recall playing in the driveway when you were a kid. To many families, the driveway is just an extension of the front yard and playing in it is no big deal, but is that really true? As it turns out, driveways are dangerous places for children to play and parents should change the way they view driveways. Instead of seeing driveways as safe places for children, parents need to discourage their children from hanging out in them.
Children are in the habit of playing in driveways. Those empty concrete and asphalt spaces can be so alluring, especially for children who are wearing skates, riding bicycles or skateboards, or riding another type of bike. But ask any emergency room doctor and they’ll tell you that driveways pose hazards to children because cars are involved.
Why Driveways Are Dangerous
Children are injured in driveways periodically, and some of these accidents are fatal. It may not happen as often as say, injuries that take place on the street, but children are injured in driveways, and for two main reasons.
For one, adults can back up and strike children when they don’t see them and this is especially the case with SUVs and trucks. Secondly, small children can climb in unlocked vehicles, slide them in gear and get injured while the car is in motion.
Henri Ford previously served as the professor of pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg and as the chief of pediatric surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Ford told WebMD: “Many injuries occur around the driveway. Unfortunately, this is an underrecognized problem, because these injuries aren’t reported to the police.”
If you’re a parent, discourage your children from playing in the driveway and educate them on being careful when crossing other people’s driveways, whether they’re on foot, a bicycle, or on some type of toy that has wheels.
When backing up, make sure you are very careful and check around the perimeter of your vehicle to make sure there are no children playing nearby. And as you back up, be cautious of other people’s children who may be riding bicycles, walking, or using a skateboard that could pass in front of your driveway as you’re pulling in or backing out with your vehicle.