Children under 5 are in just as much danger on their own family driveway as they are on a public sidewalk.
That’s just one finding into a new report on child pedestrian deaths.
That report by the BC Coroners Service is the first it has done on children who died in vehicle incidents, but were not in a vehicle.
In total, there were 81 deaths in BC between 2005 and 2014. All but four occurred in a collision with a motor vehicle.
Rear sensors can save lives, says panel chair
Chair of the Child Death Review Panel, Michael Egilson says the reason why half those under five died on a driveways can be put down to size.
“In a number of theses cases the parents actually believed, or saw that their child was seen on a deck or a balcony or something…and they scooted, these really were horrible tragedies.”
In one case, the child could not be seen because of the height of the vehicle, and the parent wasn’t even aware the child had been crushed under wheels until they got out of the car.
“None of those vehicles had rear-facing sensors or back-up cameras and had those been in place the driver would’ve been able to see that there was a toddler or a small child behind that vehicle.”
Many cases of children walking
Egilson says if those sensors are legislated to come with all new vehicles, the death toll is sure to drop.
The other case involved children walking, cycling, or riding a skateboard – and none of them stood a chance in a collision with a moving car.
Twice as many boys were killed than girls, with speeding vehicles or a lack of vision blamed for much of it.
Safer road design, more education, and stronger vehicle safety legislation among the the recommendations the Coroners Service is calling for.