Not all car accidents that kill children happen on our roads. Research shows that since 2001, more than 26 children have been killed on or near driveways. Most of these deaths were caused by vehicles reversing. A study in Queensland, Australia which was carried out by the Queensland Ambulance Service actually found that low-speed run-over was the third most frequent cause of injury or death in children aged between 1 and 4 years.
Educating Children About Safety
It is important for children to learn not only about safety on the roads but also about playing in and around parked cars, and about the risks involved when running out to greet visitors or wave goodbye to people leaving their own homes. Vehicles that are manoeuvring can be extremely dangerous to young children, especially if they are hidden from view in a blind spot. Drivers of large vehicles, like pick up trucks and 4×4 vehicles may be less able than regular car drivers to see children who are close to the bumpers. 4WDs have blind spots whereby a toddler less than 3 metres from the vehicle may not be visible to the driver.
How Can Car Drivers Help?
It is always safer to reverse onto a driveway and to drive off forwards, where possible. Be mindful of where small children could be and proceed very slowly when reversing. If parking on a slope it is best to park in gear and turn the wheel so that if your car accidentally moves, it will be stopped by a kerb. Awareness of the dangers is a large part of the problem, with most drivers assuming that they are safe in their own driveways and underestimating the risk. Small children are impulsive, fast and can often act without thinking. They are not scared of approaching cars which they often see as something fun rather than a danger.
Driveway Design and Gradients
Steep gradients can pose an additional hazard, causing cars to back out onto main roads and interrupting traffic flow. The steeper the driveway, the greater the reduction in speed is required, which can increase the risk of crashes. Where there is a large driveway speed differential, rear end collisions are more likely to occur, and crashes are likely to be more severe. A well designed driveway is neither too narrow nor too wide, and helps turning traffic to move safely off the road.
How Can You Increase Driveway Safety?
Reversing cameras fitted in modern cars can help with visibility but should not be relied upon to solve the issues, as there will always be blind spots for drivers. Assess your own driveway for risk. Long and shared driveways are most at risk, and those that exit on to quiet areas. Traffic convex mirrors help warn pedestrians and other traffic about blind exits, with striking red and white hazard trim. They also help drivers to eliminate blind spots, and therefore help to eliminate accidents.
3 Convex Mirrors to Monitor the Pavement
A significant portion of road accidents in the UK involve pedestrians, according to research by the Chief Fire Officers Association.
Based on this research, the CFOA also concluded that school aged children were most at risk for pedestrian casualties. Small children often forget to look before crossing the street, entering a car park, or even turning a corner. For that reason, there needs to be a greater sense of caution and attention paid by drivers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at:
- Three convex mirrors that can alert you of pedestrians and other vehicles approaching
- Ways to be more alert and observant on the road
- Why it’s important to teach your children proper road safety
Why a Convex Mirror?
Traffic convex mirrors are designed to help drivers better navigate tight curves, dangerous junctions and high-traffic areas. Apart from those areas, they can also be used in the driveway to help vehicles come and go with full sight of the pavement.
Convex mirrors, as you’ve probably noticed already, differ from traditional flat mirrors by their curved lenses. The curvature not only allows for a greater field of view but also allows drivers to see from multiple angles.
The Moravia View-Minder Acrylic Convex Mirror is hard to miss with its red and white chevron border. It offers drivers a total of two viewing directions (90 degrees) and has an acrylic face made to withstand weather conditions. You can either mount this mirror using the standard wall brackets or use the adjustable post.
If you need a mirror with a more durable face, consider the Vialux Convex Wide Angle Polymir Mirror. It has an unbreakable polymir face, which is favourable for areas where vandalism or adverse weather is common. Including the frame, it measures 750mm and covers approximately 90 degrees of view. Since this mirror is designed to be positioned at junctions, you may need to consult your local safety authority or community traffic organiser.
The final traffic convex mirror used to assist in road safety is another Vialux Wide Angle Convex Mirror. Unlike the previous model, however, this one is a half dome meaning that you can see in three directions as opposed to two. It has an unbreakable polymir face and is resistant to UV rays so there is no need to worry about sun damage!
Be Aware of Road Conditions
Unexpected weather conditions can increase your risk of getting into a motor collision or hitting a pedestrian. It’s crucial to limit distractions within your vehicle so that you give all of your attention to the roadway. This may mean turning off electronics (i.e., cell phones, tablets, music devices) or asking passengers to refrain from talking. In some cases, it may be best to postpone your trip altogether until the driving conditions are safer.
Communicate with Children about the Rules
The last point to emphasise is the importance of communicating road safety rules with your children. Basic rules include:
- Always looking both ways before crossing a street;
- Avoiding routes to and from school which don’t have pavements;
These are just a few points to keep in mind. Traffic safety is a serious concern which can have fatal repercussions if not properly addressed.
Best Security Tools to Monitor Your Property
The home is an integral part of the family unit and for that reason it’s of utmost importance to equip it with the proper security tools.
There are countless ways to increase the security of a home. Some are as simple as putting up a sign while others can be a bit more complicated like installing a top-of-the-line alarm system. In this article we’ll explore a range of security tools which may appeal to your budget and needs. A few options include:
- Reinforcing windows with stronger glass
- Installing timers for outdoor and indoor lighting
- Adding convex mirrors to see blind spots
Burglar-Proof Your Windows
Criminals typically enter a home through either the windows or doors. While it’s true that some may enter through a crawlspace, it’s much more common to see them accessing the main windows and entrances. An affordable way to reinforce your window is with tempered glass. This glass undergoes a chemical or thermal process to enhance its durability and strength. Laminated glass is even safer because it holds together when shattered. Specialty laminated glass can be designed to withstand everything from crowbars to explosives. Of course, you will pay on the higher-end for this type of specialty glass but it’s worth it if your home houses family heirlooms and other valuables.
Install Timers for Outdoor Lighting
If you frequently go out of town or are away from home for most of the day it may be helpful to install timers for outdoor lighting. Burglars will often monitor your routine and pick a time to enter your home when you’re at work or away on business. By setting timers for outdoor lighting, it can make it harder for criminals to determine if there’s someone inside the residence. If they suspect someone is home, they typically won’t attempt a break-in for fear of getting caught. A timer is not only simple to set up but can be purchased quite inexpensively at a hardware shop.
Monitor Blind Spots and Corners
Who’s that lurking in the bushes? Well you’d know if you had a convex mirror! Blind spots and corners around your property are the perfect hiding spot for thieves and robbers.
With a blind spot convex mirror you can see them before they spot you. This Securikey Econovex Exterior Convex provides 90 degrees of view (2 directions) and is the ideal addition for your porch, driveway or garden. You don’t even need to worry about it being vandalised because the toughened acrylic face is shatter resistant.
Whichever option you choose it’s vital to stay abreast of the happenings in your community. If your neighbourhood has become a target for vandals, you may want to increase the precautions by installing a security or alarm system. Otherwise, decoy cameras can work as great deterrents if your budget doesn’t permit for more sophisticated technology. Another option is to organise a neighbourhood watch and have individuals take turns combing the streets for suspicious activity. Only you can determine the necessary defences for your home.
3 Safety Items That Every Neighbourhood Should Have
Is your neighbourhood as safe as it could be? There are three admittedly simple items that can make a significant difference in the security of your residential area.
Your neighbourhood is a safe haven where your family can retreat to after a long day of work, school or other activity. A safe neighbourhood can be enjoyed to the fullest. Kids can play outside, adults can exercise and neighbours can use community amenities like pools and parks. However, if your neighbourhood doesn’t have the proper safety features, it may be more difficult to safely enjoy.
First, you should follow typical safety rules when you are in neighbourhood streets and teach kids to do the same. Look both ways before crossing, wear bright colours at night and use cross walks. Aside from this, there are three items that can greatly increase your neighbourhood security:
- Street lamps are important to keep areas well lit at night in order to deter crime and avoid accidents.
- Blind spot mirrors help drivers see around obstacles and help them avoid hitting pedestrians and other vehicles.
- Stop signs promote safe speeds on residential roads.
1) Bright Street Lamps
A dark residential area can facilitate both criminal activity and accidents. Criminals are more likely to be active in areas with low visibility, where they are less likely to be caught. It is also more likely for an accident to occur in an area with low visibility. Neighbourhood streets should be well lit so that criminals are less attracted to the area. If high visibility makes it more likely that they will be caught, a criminal may move on to a less risky area. Brightly lit streets also mean that drivers will not have trouble seeing the road in front of them, making it safer for pedestrians at night and during stormy weather.
2) Wide View Blind Spot Mirrors
For the same reasons, blind spot mirrors are a great thing for your neighbourhood to use to increase safety. Low visibility (due to blind spots) is just as dangerous as when it is caused by dark streets. Hedges, signs and trees near street corners are common obstructions to drivers in residential areas. These objects block the driver’s view of oncoming traffic and that can create a dangerous situation. A blind spot traffic mirror can let drivers see around corners to check for oncoming vehicles or pedestrians.
3) Stop Signs or Other Speed Control
Organising the flow of traffic and controlling the speed of cars travelling to and from a neighbourhood are essential steps in maintaining safe residential roads. Stop signs, speed bumps or even traffic signals can be beneficial. If your neighbourhood is lacking any form of speed control, an accident may become more likely. Also, during special events or construction, a neighbourhood should put out the proper signage to alert drivers and pedestrians.
Take a look around your neighbourhood for important items like these. If you don’t see them, your neighbourhood may not be as secure as it should be. Find out what you can do to make your home safer.