Kids, Cars and Consol

Consol Energy has implemented an initiative called “First Move Forward” to protect children from backovers.  I first learned of the initiative while driving in the car with my dad (who happens to be retired from Consol).  And yes, I know what you’re thinking, I am a “coal miner’s daughter” and very proud of it 🙂  I went to park the car and my dad suggested I pull on through the parking space to the empty space in front of me so that the car would be facing out and I could see what was in front of me when I pulled out…makes sense, I thought.

Consol requires all employees to back into their parking spaces so that they can easily see what is in front of them when they pull out, reducing the chances of backing over someone or something.  How impressive that an energy company has taken such a big step to protect our children….I love it!

This initiative was born the same week an employee of Consol viewed a video on CNBC about the statistics on children and backovers.   

Here are those statistics, mentioned in the video, from the website

Every year, thousands of children are hurt or die because a driver backing up didn’t see them. These incidents for the most part take place in residential driveways or parking lots.

The predominant age of victims are one year olds. (12-23 months)
Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle. (truck, van, SUV) 
Tragically, in over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2/18/05 study reports over 2400 children
are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year due a child being struck by or rolled over by a vehicle moving in reverse.

In the U.S. fifty children are being backed over by vehicles EVERY week. Forty-eight (48) are treated in hospital emergency rooms and at least two (2) children are fatality injured every WEEK. recommends the following to keep children safe:

Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it. 
Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where
they are in full view before moving the car and know that another adult is properly
supervising children before moving your vehicle. 
Teach children that “parked” vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the
vehicle; but the driver might not be able to see them. 
Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera
and/or some type of back up detection device. 
Measure the size of your blind zone (area) behind the vehicle(s) you drive. A 5-foot-1-
inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind zone of approximately 8 feet wide by
50 feet long. 
Be aware that steep inclines and large SUV’s, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of
seeing behind a vehicle. 
Hold children’s hand when leaving the vehicle. 
Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle and always set the
emergency brake. 
Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway. 
Homeowners should trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure they can see the
sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of their driveway. Pedestrians
also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway. 
Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute. 
Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway. 
Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children. 
Make sure all child passengers have left the car after it is parked. 
Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times,
schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays. These precautions can save lives.

So the next time you get in your car remember to take these safety measures to prevent an unimaginable accident.  Let’s keep our children safe!

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