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2019 News

  

24 October 2019

Alcohol a major factor in fatalities between 10pm and 6am

  • 75% of fatalities between the hours of 10pm and 6am (off-peak) had a positive toxicology for alcohol1
  • The age profile of drivers and passengers killed during off-peak hours is considerably younger than those killed during peak hours:
    - 37% of drivers killed during off-peak hours were aged under 25, and almost half (47%) were aged 25-44
    - 61% of passengers killed during off-peak hours were aged 18-24

Research unveiled at today’s October Bank Holiday Road Safety Appeal from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) identifies the presence of alcohol as a factor in fatalities that take place in off-peak hours*. The RSA and An Garda Síochána are highlighting the incidence of collisions that take place between the hours of 10pm and 6am (off peak) and calling on road users to never ever drink and drive and reduce their speed at all times.

Speaking ahead of the Bank Holiday, Mr. Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said: “Driving during off-peak hours presents its own risks. However, the same advice applies regardless of when you are on the road – you need to slow down, belt up, don’t use the phone while driving, never drink and drive, or drive while fighting sleep behind the wheel. I would urge all drivers to consider their behaviour not just this Bank Holiday weekend but every time they use the road whether that is midday or midnight.”

The RSA analysis looked at off-peak fatal collisions over a five-year period (2014-2018), to highlight when and where off-peak collisions are occurring, and to review the road user profile of those killed late at night and in the early hours of the morning.

Seven in ten fatal collisions occurring during off peak hours, not involving pedestrians, were single vehicle collisions, meaning no other car was involved. Men are over-represented in off-peak fatalities making up 87% of drivers, 73% of passengers and 87% of pedestrians killed on Irish roads between 10pm and 6am. The age profile of drivers and passengers killed during off-peak hours is considerably younger than those killed during peak hours - 37% of drivers killed during off-peak hours were aged under 25, and almost half (47%) were aged 25-44, 61% of passengers killed during off-peak hours were aged 18-24.

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO, Road Safety Authority, said: “Despite traffic volumes being at their lowest, 27% of fatal collisions and 17% of serious injury collisions occurred during off peak hours. Road traffic collisions that happen late at night and into the early hours differ in key ways to those that happen during the day in two respects: young males are overrepresented and 75% of fatalities had a positive toxicology for alcohol. Continued education and enforcement are needed to target those most vulnerable groups namely young male drivers, young male passengers and male pedestrians.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Roads Policing, An Garda Síochána, said: “Our arrest data mirrors the RSA research in that 20-40 year olds, mostly male, are the ones arrested most for intoxicated driving. Many are detected multiple times over the legal limit. Unaccompanied learner permit holders also feature in our data, with almost 2,100 vehicles impounded from high risk, inexperienced drivers since the legislation changed. Drivers choose to speed, not wear a safety belt, be distracted or drive intoxicated. Make the simple and safe choice to always drive safely and protect yourself and others around you.”

A total of 46 people have been killed or seriously injured in October Bank Holiday collisions between 2012-2017.

To date in 2019 a total of 118 people have died on the roads, which is four more than up to the same period in 2018.

You can view the presentations from Velma Burns, RSA Research Manager and Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Roads Policing, An Garda Síochána by clicking the link.

Notes

Off-peak hours are defined as 10pm – 5:59am

The Analysis of fatal and serious injury collisions on Irish roads during peak and off-peak hours (2014-2018)* also found that:

  • 7 in 10 or 70% fatal collisions during off peak hours, not involving pedestrians, were single vehicle collisions
  • 27% of fatal collisions and 17% of serious injury collisions occurred during off peak hours when traffic volumes are at their lowest (approx. 2% of daily traffic)
  • 69% of off-peak collisions took place on rural roads with a speed limit >=80km/h
  • 50% of off-peak fatal collisions took place from June to October
  • Young males are over represented in off peak fatalities

Table 1: October Bank Holiday Casualty Statistics 2014 to 2017:

Year Fatalities Fatal Collisions Serious Injuries Serious Injuries Collisions
2012 1 1 3 1
2013 1 1 4 4
2014 1 1 8 7
2015 0 0 8 8
2016 0 0 7 6
2017 2 2 11 10
2018 0 0 - -
Total 5 5 41 36

*2016 -2017 is provisional and subject to change

 
1 The Health Research Board (HRB) collect Road Traffic Collision (RTC) fatalities data annually on behalf of the RSA from closed Coronial files using the National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) methodology.
This analysis focuses on 494 road user fatalities, who had a toxicology result suitable for analysis available over the period 2013-2016.

*off-peak hours are defined as 10pm-5:59am


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