In advance of the October Bank Holiday weekend and Hallowe’en, AA Ireland is warning motorists to exercise additional caution while driving as conditions worsen over the coming weeks.
While there is little risk of significant weather events currently, the changing of the clocks and the start of the winter season represent an increasingly dangerous period on Irish roads.
“With the clocks going back this Sunday motorists will notice increasingly dark conditions when driving, particularly during their post-work commute. To make matters worse, as we move into winter we can expect an increase in hazardous weather conditions such as heavy rain and fog which can greatly affect visibility, so it’s important that motorists react accordingly by taking extra care on the roads in the coming months,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “While it’s important that cyclists and pedestrians do their part by donning hi-vis vests, motorists must take the greatest share of the burden when it comes to keeping our roads safe. This includes slowing down where the conditions require you to do so, allowing extra distance between yourself and other road users during heavy rainfall or icy weather and being on the lookout for vulnerable road users.”
For those driving on Hallowe’en night, the AA is advising that care is needed approaching parks and fields where bonfires may take place as visibility may be reduced due to smoke fumes.
With all the excitement that goes with the festivities road users are reminded that children pose a greater risk of unpredictable behaviour, such as running onto the road without checking for oncoming traffic. For this reason, The AA are also advising that children under the age of 12 be accompanied by at least one adult and encourages trick-or-treaters to use pedestrian lights where possible.
“Over the mid-term break and particularly on Hallowe’en night there’s going to more children walking through estates and on certain roads around the country. While Tuesday night poses the greatest risk, motorists need to drive with extra care over the coming days, particularly when driving through built-up residential areas.” Faughnan added. “Motorists need to do their part in terms of road safety over Hallowe’en, but it’s also important that parents remain vigilant and watch over their children to minimise any risk of an incident on our roads.
The AA’s top tricks to ensure this Halloween is a treat:
1. Motorists need to reduce speed and drive with extreme caution particularly in areas where children are likely to be present
2. Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult
3. Parents should choose costumes wisely – that are flame resistant, bright, reflective and doesn’t obstruct vision that they can see where they’re going
4. Make necessary alterations to costumes to prevent the risk of tripping
5. Before engaging in Halloween festivities, parents should have a talk with children about the rules of the road, remembering to: only cross at corners of the road and not between parked cars, obey traffic lights as well as stop, look and listen before proceeding to cross the road
6. Give children a torch or a glow light to ensure maximum visibility
7. Parents will need to be extra diligent as small children will be caught up in the excitement of the festivities.