Posted: January 15th, 2014
The Road Safety Authority has published provisional data relating to fatalities in car accidents during 2013, and has attributed the higher number of fatal injuries to drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelts.
Each year the Road Safety Authority (RSA) publishes provisional details of accidents on roads in Ireland ahead of their annual report, and the unconfirmed figures for year-ended 31st December 2013 have just been released.
In a reversal of the general downward trend since the RSA started producing annual reports in 1997, there were more fatal collisions (181) and fatal injuries (190) in 2013 than there were in 2012 (152 and 162 respectively).
Drivers accounted for 95 of the fatalities in car accidents recorded by An Garda Siochána (78 in 2012), with the number of car passengers who sustained fatal injuries also increasing from 27 in 2012 to 32 in 2013. The 63 remaining deaths on Irish roads were accounted for by vulnerable road users such as pedestrians (31), motorcyclists (27) and pedal cyclists (5).
Various factors are blamed for the increased number of fatal accidents in Ireland – noticeably how the number of motorcycle accidents increased during the summer months because of the fine weather – but these were countered by the decrease in fatalities among the 21-25 age group (32 > 27) and those which were attributable to speeding.
However, the RSA did point to a substantial proportion of fatalities in car accidents which may have been avoided in the driver and/or passenger was wearing a seatbelt.
In all fatal collisions in which a car user had been killed – and in which An Garda Siochána could determine whether the victim(s) had been wearing a seatbelt – the fatally injured driver and/or passenger had not been wearing a seat belt 38% of the time.
The conclusion drawn by the RSA was that more emphasis on seatbelt wearing was required – both for drivers and passengers.