Road safety professionals have appealed to all road users to take extra care, drive sensibly and safely, and give due consideration to the current inclement weather conditions. This appeal was issued after a number of dreadful accidents in the county over the past few months.
Noel Gibbons, road safety officer with Mayo County Council, said: “We would like to extend our sincere sympathy to those families who have lost loved ones in recent time and take this opportunity to ask all road users to be extra careful in the weeks ahead. Unfortunately, as we know only too well, there is no quick recovery from the trauma and grief felt by those left behind when someone dies or is seriously injured in a road traffic accident. I would appeal to all road users to take extra care on our roads and drive sensibly and safely, particularly in these inclement weather conditions.”
There has been an unacceptable increase in the number of deadly accidents around the county in recent months. While the number of deaths on the roads nationally has decreased in 2011, 10 people have been killed on Mayo roads so far this year. This rapid rise in the number of road deaths, up by almost one-third in 11 months, is a matter of serious concern. As part of this appeal, all road users are being asked to be cautious on the roads. All fatalities are a tragedy and reducing road deaths remains a top priority for safety professionals and the emergency services in the county.
Chief Superintendent of Mayo, Tom Curley, said: “We are appealing for motorists to exercise patience and safe judgment while travelling to and from their destination. Simple things like leaving enough space between your car and the car in front of you and making sure you are well-rested can make all the difference on the road, so take care on our roads and exercise caution.” He went on to say, “There is nothing worse for a garda than to deliver the bad news to a family that their loved one has been seriously injured or killed.”
The following safety tips are for safer driving this festive season.
Remain alert and do not allow yourself to become side-tracked by mobile phones or other distractions.
Always belt up.
Get an adequate amount of quality sleep before setting off on a long journey.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and eating heavy foods
If you are taking any medication make sure it will not impair your driving abilities.
Stop and take a break at least every two hours.
If possible drive with a companion with whom you can switch driving when you start to feel tired.
Chat with your passengers to help you stay alert although not to the extent that they distract you.
Keep the temperature in your vehicle cool, as a warm environment tends to cause lethargy.
Make a point of checking blind spots and 'reading' the road and traffic conditions. Do not just keep your eye on the vehicle ahead of you.