14 Aug 2022

Kildare driver lost control of car after sneezing


Kildare driver lost control of car after sneezing

Naas courthouse

A man who said that he lost control of his car after sneezing has been convicted of dangerous driving.

Dylan Keating, 8 Hayfield, Straffan Road, Maynooth, appeared at Naas District Court on March 3, charged with dangerous driving.

Garda Sergeant Jim Kelly said that on December 15, 2018, Mr Keating, a member of the Defence Forces, was going to the M4.

He came around a bend at Boycetown, Kilcock. His car crossed to the wrong side of the road, striking a car after one avoided his. The court was told that Mr Keating got a sneezing fit and lost control.

Judge Desmond Zaidan said he did not think that a sneeze would lead to Mr Keating losing control of his car to that extent. Mr Keating replied that he got several sneezes.

Sgt Kelly said that there was “a serious impact” between Mr Keating's car and the other vehicle. The road was wide at the location. There was extreme damage to both vehicles and it was lucky there was not more serious injuries.

Aisling Murphy, BL, legally representing Mr Keating, said that the weather conditions were not great.

Judge Zaidan was told that Mr Keating, himself, wore a neck brace for three months after the accident.

The court heard Mr Keating had insurance on his own car but not for the car he was driving, which was owned by his father.

Ms Murphy asked that the charge be reduced to careless driving on the basis it was “a freak accident” and to avoid a driving disqualification.

Judge Zaidan said the Director of Public Prosecution had opted to charge him with dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

He fined Mr Keating €750 and banned him from driving for two years on the dangerous driving charge.

Because of that, he took into account the charge of driving without insurance.

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