Road safety

Louth County Council issues August bank holiday road safety message

As we approach the August bank holiday weekend, in a year that has seen a marked increase in the number of people who have lost their lives on our roads, the Louth County Council Road Safety Officer encourages everyone to do your part to stay safe.

Driver fatigue is estimated to be a contributing factor in as many as one in five driver fatalities in Ireland and fatigue-related crashes are three times more likely to be fatal or result in serious injury due to high impact speed and lack of action avoidance.

Speaking ahead of the holiday weekend, Road Safety Manager Adrian O’Sullivan offers the following advice to all road users. “There will be increased traffic on the roads as we head off for a much needed break and for many there will be long journeys ahead. Driver fatigue can slowly creep up on you and it is impossible to fight it and the risks can be tragic. Recognize the signs of fatigue while driving, act accordingly and protect yourself, your passengers and other road users. You should never struggle with sleepy driving,” adds Adrien.

Research by the Road Safety Authority has found that 28% of motorists in Ireland say they have fallen asleep or nodded off for even a moment while driving. Among people who drive for work, this figure rises to 33%. The people most at risk of fatigue at the wheel are:

  • young men
  • People working at night
  • Those who drive for a living
  • People with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.

The road safety official also called on passengers to do their part. “Fatigue-related crashes can have catastrophic consequences because drivers are less likely to take evasive action, so if you’re in a car driven by a tired driver, speak up. Ask them to stop safely and follow the ‘Stop Sip Sleep’ advice. I urge anyone traveling this weekend to plan their trips and not struggle with sleepy driving. Turning up the radio or opening the window will not prevent fatigue.

“The only cure for fatigue is sleep. Many sleep-related accidents are due to lifestyle issues such as driving without adequate sleep, while others are due to various medical conditions such as Down syndrome. sleep apnea, neurological conditions, or the use of certain prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) medications.

“Anyone taking medication if in doubt should consult their doctor or pharmacist who will advise them of the treatment and of any restrictions to their licence, to ensure that they protect themselves and others while driving. “, added the traffic safety officer.

A total of 89 people have lost their lives on Irish roads as of July 22, 2022. This is an increase of twenty-six on the same period last year. Five of those deaths occurred in County Louth. Of the thirteen people killed on the roads of Co Louth in 2021 and 2022 so far, all have been men.

The Road Safety Authority and Applegreen have teamed up to provide free cups of coffee to drivers at participating gas stations. To redeem your free coffee, simply say “RSA” or “Driver Reviver” to the cashier operator. The offer is available from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday July 29 and Monday August 1, 2022.