The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is calling on motorists to ensure their vehicles are fit for purpose when driving at this time of year.
The authority’s head of communications, Brian Farrell was commenting following the deaths of 10 people in road traffic accidents this week, including four men in their 20s in Donegal on Sunday night.
“It’s been an appalling week, trying to find sense in such needless loss of life,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland.
Mr Farrell pointed out that 16 lives have been lost on the roads to date this year.
He said that the one comment most people who have been involved in an accident make is “it happened in a split second.” He warned that because getting into a car to drive to work every day is habitual, sometimes people become complacent.
“I am taking this opportunity to appeal to people to take extra care. It is important to slow down.”
The RSA is advising drivers to make sure their vehicle is fit for purpose, that it is weather-ready – that tyres, wipers, antifreeze, lights are all in good working order and ready to deal with the challenges of winter driving.
Mr Farrell also advised motorists to invest in a pair of sunglasses to combat winter sun glare which accounts for three fatalities every year.
When asked about the accuracy of Garda statistics, he said he was confident that the figures “were solid” and that there was now independent oversight.
The majority of people on the road are law-abiding and “do the right thing”, he added. Unfortunately there is a minority who do not.