Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day AA Ireland is reminding motorists to be extra careful on the roads this weekend. Cities and towns countrywide have scheduled road closures to accommodate festivities and traffic volumes are also expected to be high.
With an increase in the amount of motorists on long journeys expected the AA is advising motorists to allow additional travel time. Routes, particularly those through city centres, will often be affected by parades.
“Long weekends can be particularly dangerous because many people deviate from their normal driving behaviour or route. Fatigue from long journeys, speeding and people opting not to wear their seat belt all become more likely, and we usually see a noticeable increase in the number of drink-driving related offences,” AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan stated. “We’d urge motorists to slow down, stop and take breaks where necessary if driving long distances, and most importantly to stay safe on our roads.”
With an increase in car breakdowns expected over the weekend, in part due to the number of people undertaking longer journeys, AA Rescue will also be deploying additional resources to cope with demand.
While just 158 breakdowns were responded to by AA Rescue last year with St. Patrick’s Day coinciding with a weekend this year a significant increase is expected. In the four days following St Patrick’s Day 2016 over 1,300 breakdowns were attended to by the AA, with over 400 of these taking place on Friday March 18th.
“With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday this year we’re essentially treated to an extra bank holiday weekend and, because of this, it’s likely that more people will be driving greater distances in the coming days,” Conor added. “Because of this AA Rescue are preparing for an increase in the number of breakdowns reported this weekend and would advise motorists to give their car a once over before setting out on any long journeys.”