Recent times have seen an increasing number of fatalities on our roads. Every week we hear of lives lost in these tragic traffic incidents. What for many of us becomes no more than an inordinate delay on the motorway, is for some poor family the loss of someone near and dear to them.
I have often watched the video compilations of road accidents that appear on Facebook or YouTube and they certainly make for sobering viewing. Mainly captured by dash-cams or CCTV they graphically show how a moment of inattention or distraction, or indeed a misjudgement, can result in the most horrendous accidents with disastrous consequences. Family cars motoring happily along can be catapulted through the air in the most bizarre acrobatic spins and tumbles leaving devastation all around.
I have, on several occasions watched in disbelief as drivers of huge juggernauts trundle past with a mobile phone to one ear and one hand on the steering wheel, it makes for very scary motoring. We have all witnessed the driver in a hurry who weaves from lane to lane at breakneck speed, or the driver who decides that several seconds of a newly changed red light gives him time to make a dash for it. On occasion I have cringed in anticipation of being rear ended when slowing down for an amber traffic light.
The craziest thing I recently witnessed was the driver of a private hire coach texting with one hand while doing over 110km on the M4.
The Gardaí can’t be everywhere, and it’s only when it’s too late that much of the crazy driving on the road comes to notice with all the tragic consequences. So far in 2022 seventy-seven people have died on Irish roads, seven of these died in this past Bank Holiday weekend alone. Many others have been seriously hurt with life-changing injuries.
All of these deaths are preventable. If all of us who sit behind the wheel of a car make a conscious decision each time we take to the road to take our time, and behave courteously towards other road users, it can be the difference between life and death for someone. Research has shown that nine out of every ten road deaths are down to human error.
It would be a heavy burden indeed to bear responsibility for any one of these tragic fatalities.
St. Mary’s Lucan