Sadly driveway deaths are far too common in New Zealand, with tragic incidents making headlines every month or so.
A 13-month-old girl run over in her west Auckland driveway died despite the frantic efforts of family members who rushed her to hospital without waiting for an ambulance.
The death is the latest in a string of similar tragedies and sparked renewed calls for drivers to be vigilant around driveways.
Neighbours in Riverpark Cres, Henderson, said they heard loud screaming after the girl was run over by a family member about midday on Saturday.
"It was wailing. You could just tell it was something bad," said one.
Read the full NZ Herald story here
The call follows the death of 22-month-old Talitauaiseaso Itamua, who died after she was struck by a reversing car in Weymouth, South Auckland.
Experts say between four to six small children die after being hit in driveways each year, with 10 to 15 being admitted to hospital.
Read the full NZ Herald artcile here
Parents talk to the NZ Woman's Weekly about their loss
Read the article here
Home Driveway Injuries and Fatalities
One quarter of all child pedestrians hospitalised in the Auckland Region are injured on home driveways. Children under the age of five are particularly at risk. Many of these deaths and injuries are predictable and could be prevented.
From 1986 to 1995 throughout all New Zealand, there were 39 non-traffic pedestrian deaths. The majority of these were driveway-related events, occurring in children less than four years, and in domestic driveways in urban centres.
Driveway-related injuries have a distinct injury pattern. The short stature of the child relative to the bumper explains the predominance of injuries to the head and chest. Lower limb injuries occur as the child falls to the ground or is driven over. Driveway-related accidents have a higher incidence of closed head injury and a higher mortality than traffic-related injuries. Major abdominal and upper limb injuries are uncommon. Since the majority of the fatalities sustained untreatable injuries at the scene, the appropriate medical response is to focus on primary prevention. Interventions must involve the driveway environment, the driver, the vehicle and the behaviour and supervision of all children.
Vans, four wheel drive vehicles and light trucks account for only 6% of all domestic vehicles in Auckland registered by the Land Transport Safety Authority. However, they were involved in 28% of the accidents reviewed, and the majority were owned and driven by a parent. These vehicles are associated with a higher rate of accidents and more complex injuries than cars. The large size of these vehicles produce a visibility problem that can prevent the child from being seen during reversing.
Larger rear view and “rounded” mirrors have been recommended in order to decrease the “blind spots” in which a child may be missed during reversing. Proximity detectors and warning reversal alerts have also been proposed.
(Source: New Zealand Medical Journal)
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