Driveway Runovers: Birth to 11 months

How big a problem is it?

Up until 2016, around five children were being killed in New Zealand driveways each year. This has reduced in recent years, including less than 10 children a year being admitted to Starship Children’s Hospital with very serious injuries from driveway run overs. Often, it is a member of their own family driving the vehicle.

Who does it affect?

Children aged around one to two years are most at risk because they are too small to be seen behind a vehicle, and can slip unseen through an open gate and into 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 children safe from driveway run overs.

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.

  • Know where your children are before getting into the vehicle     .

  • Check around your vehicle before getting in.

  • 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.


  • CHECK for children before driving off

  • SUPERVISE children around vehicles – always

  • SEPARATE play areas from driveways

First Aid

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

Resources Link to Safekids’ resources

Download Driveway Runover reference card

Reference Card Sources

Driveway Run Over Injury Prevention 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


Acknowledgement. This page includes a link to KidsHealth and a page containing the Basic Life Support Flow Chart. The Basic Life Support Flow Chart is developed by the New Zealand Resuscitation Council and Australian Resuscitation Council. For more information see