The Freight Transport Association of Ireland has condemned the attack, describing the potential consequences of such actions as “catastrophic”.
The driver was travelling on the N25 Cork-Midleton road last Wednesday night when the tin of paint hit his windscreen, splashing dark blue paint across his windscreen. The paint completely obscured the driver’s view of the road.
The driver, who was said to be in shock after the incident, managed to avoid any further harm and pulled safely into the hard shoulder of the busy dual-carriageway.
FTAI general manager Neil McDonnell said the organisation was highlighting the incident in the hope that it will “alert both young people and their parents to the extreme risks posed by this type of behaviour.”
Both the truck driver and his employer wish to remain anonymous.
The employer informed the FTAI of the incident in the hope that it would draw attention to the fact that while such activities may seem to be little more than a practical joke to those responsible, it could have far-reaching consequences.
Mr McDonnell said that the prank could have had a much more serious result and had the potential to cause multiple fatalities.
“Firstly, a paint can might not explode — it could penetrate the windscreen and incapacitate or kill the driver,” Mr McDonnell said.
“Secondly, the vehicle is driving blind until it is brought to a stop. The driver in this case could have impacted with other vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians. This risk is obviously elevated on a two-way road.
“The message we want to get out is that this activity is incredibly dangerous. We were lucky no death or injury resulted last Wednesday, but we might not be so lucky the next time.”
The matter has been reported to the gardai for investigation.