Pay attention while driving

by Sara-Jane Ludemann

It is now the time of year when conditions are rapidly changing for drivers on the road.

After driving during the summer months we can become complacent with dry road conditions and good visibility.

Of course we still have the problems with speeding, drunk drivers, inattention and talking on phones, but we are now beginning to have other factors to take into consideration.

They include: bad visibility, water on roads, spray off oncoming trucks, ice in shady places, maybe snow, late afternoon sun causing sun strike, pedestrians wearing darker clothing (that being the norm in winter), tourists and, in country areas, stock on the road in fading light.

These are just some of the added hazards we now have to think about while driving on the road as we head nto the winter months.

Of course, bad driving habits such as looking at the passenger while talking to them still persist. One really doesn’t have to look at someone to have them hear you. And while you are looking at them, your eyes are not on the road.

Things can happen in a split second. 

On the road things can get tough.

After spending 30 years in an emergency service I know first-and what inattention on the road can produce and it is not pretty. Death and permanent injury as well as major or minor injuries all have an impact on people and their close families and friends. Another facet some of us have to face is drivers fleeing from the law.

Drivers who have just got their licence often think they know it all and try to impress their mates and girlfriends but can easily finish up in a pine box, sometimes taking innocent victims with them. Inexperience and haste, along with alcohol and drugs are often contributing factors in causing accidents.

Law abiding public can sometimes be at the raw end of these incidents as well.

I urge all drivers to take extra care this autumn and winter and to stay alert at all times.

Keep your eyes on the road and keep a lookout for the unexpected. That way, we may all survive the conditions of extra hazards in the months to come.