Technology halts driveway deaths

The vast majority of driveway accidents could be prevented if all vehicles had reversing cameras and beeping parking sensors, says the car review website

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, says simple changes to cars and driveways can be "spectacularly successful" at saving lives.

“Fences and gates are a good start, provided that these gates and fences are childproof.  But toddlers are remarkably quick at escaping from parents, so the second tier of protection must be in the cars we drive.”

“Reversing cameras show the driver what’s behind their vehicle. Studies show that reversing cameras work best in conjunction with beeping parking sensors.”

“Reversing cameras and beeping parking sensors are now cheap as chips. They’re easily installed on virtually any vehicle. So why isn’t this compulsory?”

“By law, your car has to have brakes and headlights, because they help prevent accidents. Why aren’t reversing cameras and beeping parking sensors also required by law?”

Matthew-Wilson believes that driver's license tests should include the correct use of reversing cameras and parking sensors.

Matthew-Wilson adds that the least effective way of preventing driveway deaths is asking parents to keep an eye on their children.

“As any mum will tell you, toddlers are the world’s greatest escape artists. You turn around for one second and they’re gone. In driveways and carparks, this can easily lead to tragedy.  Reversing cameras and beeping parking sensors can go a long way towards saving the lives of wandering toddlers.”

Matthew-Wilson explains how the reversing camera and parking sensors on his own car may have saved a child's life at a supermarket:    

“I was reversing out of a parking space. Like all good drivers I checked my three rear mirrors. Just as I began to reverse, a sudden beep warned me that a small child was running straight past the rear of my car. He appeared from nowhere, running across the reversing camera screen, then disappeared past the vehicle. He was too short to show up in my rear view mirror. If I had not had a reversing camera and parking sensors fitted, I could easily have reversed straight over this child.”