Driveway run overs: Birth to 11 months

How big a problem is it?

Up until around 2016, five children were being killed in New Zealand driveways. This has reduced in recent years, but there are still more than 20 children a year being admitted to Starship Children’s Hospital with very serious injuries from 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, shared, in a quiet road or cul-de-sac. The risk is also high if the driveway leads to an area where there is lots of parking space. The good news is that by following a few simple tips you can keep your children safe from driveway run overs.

Our 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 it to drive.

  • Check behind your vehicle before reversing.

  • If you need to leave your vehicle make sure it is always 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

Driveway Run Over Injury Prevention Resources

Links to other organisations’ resources

NZTA - Feet First
Pedestrian Advocacy NZ
Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide
Walk Auckland
Travelwise Programme
Reduce the Risk
NZTA Roadcode

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