VISITORS TO IRELAND should read about stupid driving in Ireland, such as that demonstrated by the white van registered as 05C24384 around 2200 on 6 May 2006. My Nokia N70--used by a passenger--caught its profile but did not register the overtaking event that merits this vehicle's inclusion in the "Stupid Photostream" of my Flickr account. Once there, the car often earns a permanent place in Google, such as the stupid Micra that hit my car while pulling into a parking spot. (For details, Google for 01TS1876 and read the rest of the story. Remember, it's the car doing the stupid driving.) I am telling my American friends about stupid drivers and daft froggers on Irish roads before they encouter unexpected road hazards during their summer visits.
Visitors to Ireland should be advised that the concept of overtaking on the highway can mean that the car overtaken may have to brake suddenly, swerve off the road or risk being rear-ended by a following vehicle. The white van registered as 05C24384 demonstrated this fact with great aplomb at 2210 on Saturday 6 May 2006 on the N8 driving south near Littleton, County Tipperary, Ireland. This vehicle overtook several automobiles on a solid white line with oncoming vehicles approaching, then pushed its way in front of our vehicle at 50 mph in a traffic calming zone. The abrupt maneuver of 05C24384 was required in order to avoid a head-on collision at night. There was no escape corridor. We avoided a road accident by braking hard and hoping the following traffic would follow our braking lead.
If you are a visitor driving in Ireland, it is imperative that you routinely check your mirrors because you have to allow for the mistakes made by cars approaching from behind in your blind spot. In effect, you need to plan your driving for the more compelling traveling needs of those who follow. You need to be able to offer them the space you occupy by swerving, braking or stopping. This often occurs at high speed--above 50 mph--on national roads, side roads, and motorways. This is part of the Irish safe driving code and rather unique to the Republic of Ireland--a country where no fewer than one in four Irish-registered drivers are likely to be unlicensed.
This point needs to be incorporated into the official Department of State Travel Advisory for Ireland because it is an accurate precursor of late-night driving irregularities seen across the country and it forms part of the accident summaries read on national radio every Monday following the weekly carnage reports.
This must be an emerging trend because Google finds only 16 references to stupid driving in Ireland and 17 references to "stupid drivers in Ireland". The initiative about RoadDeaths.net should provide interesting collateral material. Perhaps other bloggers would write and cite their experiences with stupid driving in Ireland.