Drivers warned against leaving their car


Motorists have been warned of the dangers of leaving their cars when on the motorway after a man in his 30s was killed yesterday in Co Wicklow

It is believed that the man was struck by another vehicle after he had stepped out of his damaged car on the northbound section of the M11 motorway. The seven-vehicle incident took place at the Ashford/ Rathnew exit (junction 16) at about 6.45am. The man was from Enniscorthy.

“We are investigating all aspects of it; it’s not known what the cause of it was at the minute,” said Garda Insp Mary Aldridge of Wicklow Garda station. She said preliminary investigations indicated that “there was one incident and then another in quick succession afterwards”.

Inclement weather

“We’re investigating a lot of aspects – ice may have been a factor. . . we have to have an open mind on it. We would also say that in inclement weather, people also need to slow down.”

In 2011, nine people died, two of them while walking, as a result of crashes on Ireland’s motorway network. Provisional figures for 2012 show that six people died on motorways.

“It is extremely dangerous to stop on a motorway under any circumstances,” a spokesman for the Garda Press Office said.

He said the only reason drivers should stop was in the event of a breakdown.

Hazard lights

The Road Safety Authority advises motorists forced to stop on the motorway to switch on their hazard lights and move the vehicle into the hard shoulder, parking as near to the left as possible.

“Do not walk on the motorway. Leave your vehicle through the left-hand door and wait for help on the embankment side of the motorway, well behind the crash barrier,” a spokesman said.

Those unable to follow that advice should stay in the vehicle with their safety belt fastened with their hazard lights switched on.