With darker nights on the horizon AA Ireland is urging motorists to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, when driving in the coming months.
On Sunday, October 30 the clocks will go back by one hour making the morning commute easier for most, but increasing the risk for many road-users in the evening.
To date 158 people have been killed on Irish roads including 24 pedestrians and 9 cyclists, the same number of cyclists killed in all of 2015.
With longer nights and more hazardous weather conditions on the way, all road users need to ensure they take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others.
Cyclists and pedestrians are urged to ensure they use reflective clothing and lighting to ensure visibility, while also using bike lanes/footpaths wherever possible.
Commenting on the need for all road users to be aware of the risks posed by reduced daylight, AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan stated,
“We’re entering into a dangerous time of the year on the roads in what has already been a poor year for road safety.
“The AA urges all road users but especially drivers to keep safety in mind this winter.
“Using the roads is the most dangerous thing that we do every day and yet very few of us appreciate it.
“You are only ever one slip of concentration away from disaster that can change lives forever.”
Meanwhile, motorists are reminded to exercise additional caution when driving in reduced daylight, as well as ensuring that they drive appropriately for the road and weather conditions on any given day.
With above-average levels of rainfall and a greater risk of storms expected throughout the coming winter, motorists are advised to increase their stopping distance where necessary and to be aware of the additional risks these weather conditions may present.
“We would especially call on cyclists to be weather aware and to get proper lights. Lots of people drive and cycle – 10% of all AA members for a start.
“If you drive at all you will know that an unlit cyclist on a dark, wet evening is virtually impossible to see.
“It is true that the driver bears the greater responsibility as they are the one that can do most damage, but cyclists also need to be sensible. For starters, that means get some lights and use them.”