Drivers urged to take extra care

Bank Holiday Weekend

Drivers urged to take extra care

Donegal County Council has issued an appeal to driver following this week's road tragedies and ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

A council spokesperson said of the crashes which claimed five young lives, “The tragedies that occurred over the last 48 hours were truly horrific and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and relatives of those involved.

“We as a community have had far too many tragedies, particularly road traffic collisions. No family should have to suffer the pain and loss of a loved one as a result of a road traffic collision. It should never be forgotten that behind every figure and statistic are real tragedies and real victims with real lives lost.

“Road safety is not issue for the authorities alone. Each one of us who use our roads can make a difference and should take a moment to reflect on how we use the roads and whether or not we could improve our driving and ensure that we do not become another bleak statistic — or the cause of one. These recent tragedies have changed countless lives forever.”

Road Safety Officer Brian O'Donnell urged road users to be extra vigilant.

“August Bank Holiday marks one of the busiest and most dangerous weekends of the year on the roads. Far too many people have lost their lives on our roads and if the current trend continues, the RSA have said that 80 more people could lose their lives in preventable and unnecessary road collisions this year. We should all increase our efforts to avoid such tragedies this Bank Holiday weekend and beyond. If you feel tired, then pull over and take a break.

“We are also asking drivers this weekend to watch out for changeable road conditions with the changing weather.

“As with every Bank Holiday weekend, there are added risks when using the roads. More people will be taking to the roads, travelling long distances, often without breaks. Scientific studies show that if a driver persists in fighting sleep while driving, the impairment level is the same as driving while over the drink drive limit.

"If you are fighting sleep at the wheel, stop immediately. If you can, drink a cup of coffee or a caffeine drink but most importantly take a 15 to 20 minute nap. Following the nap, stretch your legs and get some fresh air, share the driving if you can, and never ignore the tell-tale warning signs of fatigue. By following this advice you should be able to drive for another hour or more.

“This weekend we are asking all road user to be extra vigilant. This means - always obey the speed limits, reduce speed in inclement weather conditions and allow plenty of time to arrive safely at your destination, always wear your seatbelt, never use a mobile phone while driving and never drink and drive.”

So far this year, 105 people have been killed on Irish roads, which include 49 drivers, 23 passengers, 16 pedestrians, 11 motorcyclists, 1 pillion passenger and 5 cyclists, compared to 89 for the same period in 2015.

Six people have now tragically lost their lives on Donegal roads in 2016.