Ireland’s forgotten heroes at the wheel

As we tentatively emerge from lockdown, our thoughts remain with the many thousands who have helped to keep us and our loved ones safe over the last few months. Doctors and nurses have rightly come in for fulsome praise for putting their own lives on the line to protect ours. We won’t forget the images of people across Europe taking time out each evening to clap their efforts – it will be one of the lasting memories of a crisis we will want to forget. We are also indebted to their many less conspicuous colleagues who are only now being acknowledged – porters, cleaners, kitchen staff and others.

If you saw the RTE documentary MayDay: 24 Hours in Ireland’s Lockdown, you’ll undoubtedly have been impressed by the efforts of another forgotten group – van and truck drivers. You’ll have seen the exhausting hours they are putting in to ensure our supermarket shelves are stocked with food. Add to that the increase in online shopping – it has been up to this group to fulfil these orders, right across the country. Remember, this is a group that works long days even in normal times – a 2010 study in the US showed that truck drivers work 50% more hours than most workers.

For the lucky among us, one characteristic of the crisis is that things have been surprisingly ‘normal’. We’ve been able to get all the food we want, we’ve enjoyed Friday night meals delivered and we’ve kept the kids happy by ordering books, toys and so on. We have drivers to thank for this ‘normal’.

As we hear call for nurses to be recognised through better pay and conditions when things are back to normal, it’s time to think of our drivers too, and their safety. Employers clearly have a responsibility to staff spending so many hours at the wheel. Dangerous hours. Stressful hours. Not only is this stress harmful to the individual’s health but is considered one of the leading causes of collisions. And this is where comes in. We are distributors of the Mobileye range of collision avoidance systems that reduce the risk of collisions in commercial vehicles by a series of alerts to the driver. The systems, retrofitted to the vehicle in a couple of hours at any of our centres across Ireland, features warnings in respect of lane departure, likely forward collision, pedestrian collision, speed signs and more.  What’s more, research is showing that the systems actually improve driver behaviour at the same time.

Don’t all our forgotten heroes deserve to be protected by such a system?

For more, see a very insightful article from Mobileye here on Protecting Tired Drivers During the Covid Pandemic.