Driveway runovers: 1 -2 years

How big a problem is this?

Children at this age and stage are naturally drawn to playing outdoors. This is not only great for their development but also helps them to remain healthy. However, while playing outside is important, making sure your child is safe is just as important.

Until relatively recently, every year in New Zealand, approximately 5 children were being killed in a driveway runover and 20 more were being hospitalised. This has improved between 2017-2020. Thankfully, no one would want to go back to that level again.

Who does it affect?

Children aged 2 years are most at risk because they are too small to be seen behind a vehicle, and often slip unseen through an open gate and end up in the path of a departing car. The risk is even greater if the driveway is near an unfenced play area, or if it is long. Driveways that are shared, in a quiet road or cul-de-sac or leads to an area where there is lots of parking space are also very risky.

The good news is that by following a few simple tips you can keep your child safe around driveways.

Top Tips

  • Keep children well away from driveways. They shouldn’t think of them as play areas.

  • Fence off the driveway from the main play area. Make it difficult for children to access the driveway by installing security doors or gates.

  • Always check around your vehicle before moving and know where your child is before getting in. Drive forwards out of the driveway where possible.

  • If you need to leave your vehicle make sure the hand brake is activated and vehicle  is  switched off.

  • If you are around cars, hold your child’s hand and keep them close. Have a designated safe area where children learn to wait when a vehicle is leaving your driveway, and where drivers can see them.

First Aid

If your child has been struck by a car, call 111 immediately. If unconscious, begin CPR. See CPR instructions for babies and toddlers. Do not stop performing CPR until medical help arrives and takes over.

Link to Safekids resources

Download Driveway Runover reference card

Reference Card Sources

Driveway Runover Resources

Links to other organisations’ resources

New Zealand Transport Agency Feet First Resources

Living Streets Aotearoa

New Zealand Transport Agency Pedestrian Planning and Design Guidance

Walk Auckland

Auckland Transport's Travelwise Schools Programme