When the issue of road safety is raised, the majority of people will probably think that we’re just talking about our main streets and highways.


But the reality is that a road safety mindset needs to apply to any area where there are vehicles, bike riders or pedestrians moving about.


There is always a potential risk whenever people and vehicles are in motion, no matter what the speed or how well you know the area.


Our own driveways and footpaths are good examples.


We use these areas on a daily basis and as a result, we can often become a bit complacent about the potential risks.


It’s still been estimated that low speed run-overs resulting in a child being seriously injured or killed occur at the rate of one per week in Australia.


To make matters worse, the people behind the wheel at the time of the incident are the people who love these children the most – their parents.


All it takes is a moment’s inattention, a focus placed on the myriad of things to do in the day, rather than the immediate surroundings that can allow tragedy to strike.


The good news is these incidents are entirely avoidable. All it takes is a little time and organisation.


When you’re heading out with the kids, make sure that they are secure in their car seats before you get into the driver’s seat. If the children aren’t going with you, ensure that another adult has all the children inside the house or well away from the vehicle before you depart.


Lastly, take ‘the long way around’ to get to the driver’s seat. Not only does it mean you can check that children aren’t nearby but it also allows you to do a scan for children’s toys or other obstacles lying in the driveway.


Doing this also allows you to “mentally switch on” to the task of driving before you get behind the wheel.


If you’re reversing make sure you’re doing it slowly and that you’re constantly checking your surroundings. Just because nothing was behind you yesterday, doesn’t mean it will be the case today.


Reversing sensors and cameras are some of the nicer things that have come along recently. Now while these things are great additional tools, it’s important that you don’t become over-reliant on them. Like all technology they will have their limitations, so as a driver it is important that you remain vigilant and be totally aware of your surroundings when you’re reversing any vehicle.


Reversing incidents can still occur if the driver is distracted, complacent, or if the environment around the vehicle changes.


Keep in mind that low speed doesn’t automatically mean low risk. No matter how well you know the environment always keep assessing what’s around you, ease up on your speed and be prepared for the unexpected.


Drive Safe – Russell White