THE RACQ and Queensland’s largest community helicopter rescue service, RACQ CareFlight, have issued a safety warning to motorists about the dangers of maneuvering cars in driveways.
Their warning comes after RACQ CareFlight flew a 14-month-old Nambour toddler to the Royal Brisbane Hospital on Wednesday night to undergo specialist care, after the child suffered serious injuries when hit by a reversing vehicle in the family driveway.
RACQ CareFlight Rescue Aircrewman Jerm Cutelli has taken the time to urge parents to be mindful of their children around vehicles, roads and driveways.
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“During the 13 years I’ve worked in the air-medical retrieval industry, I’ve helped airlift several children across Australia injured in similar incidents,” Mr Cutelli said.
“As a father myself, it’s always a traumatic experience for everyone involved. CareFlight wishes the little one a speedy recovery.”
RACQ Senior Road Safety Advisor Joel Tucker said that in Australia, on average, one child was hurt or seriously injured in the driveway of a home every week, and in Queensland approximately three children were killed every year.
“Young children lack the awareness of the dangers of a moving vehicle and if the driver is unable to see them on a driveway it is easy for a tragedy to occur,” Mr Tucker said.
RACQ has produced a YouTube video (featured above) about driveway safety outlining the following steps that can be taken to help reduce driveway risk:
1. Always supervise children and avoid leaving them to play alone, especially around areas near parked or moving vehicles
2. Wherever possible, ensure young children play in a safe area separated from the driveway
3. Always thoroughly check around the vehicle before getting in and moving it
4. Put your child in the car with you if you are home alone and need to move your car
5. Install rear visibility cameras or sensors on your car to assist in overcoming blind spots
6. Educate children about driveway safety.
RACQ offers a free injury prevention program, Kids N Cars, for drivers to keep young children safe and protected in and around vehicles.