Alcohol is a contributory factor in 38% of fatal crashes in the lead up to Christmas, a Road Safety Authority (RSA) analysis of Garda investigation files for fatal crashes in the months of November and December has found.
The figure was revealed today at the launch of the RSA and An Garda Síochána’s annual Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign.
Another analysis of preliminary Garda data from 2008-2016 reveals that a total of 292 road users were killed in the months of November and December. The average number of fatalities each month for this nine-year period was 16 in November and 16 in December.
The new RSA analysis also shows that:
• Dublin, Cork and Galway had the highest number of RTC fatalities in November and December and accounted for almost a third (32%) of the total number of fatalities that occurred during this time period.
• The most prevalent times of day were between 4pm-8pm (33%) and 12pm-4pm (23%), followed by 12am-6am (22%).
• RTC fatalities were more prevalent on Sundays (21%). The most dangerous time of day on Sundays was midnight-6am.
• Drivers represent almost half (46%) of all road users killed in November/December
• Pedestrians represent over a quarter (26%) of fatalities, while passengers account for almost one fifth (18%).
Meanwhile, arrest figures released by the gardai for driving under the influence (DUI) up to end of October 2017 shows that there have been 7,428 drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence compared to 6,637 up to October 2016. This is a 12% increase in DUI arrests in 2017.
“The ultimate aim of our appeal this year is to warn the public about the impact alcohol has on road safety. The statistics revealed by the RSA and gárdai clearly indicate that alcohol remains the primary contributory factor in fatal crashes and is responsible for far too many deaths and injuries on Irish roads. Given the more difficult driving conditions typical of this time of year, November and December are already particularly dangerous months for driving. However, the statistics show that road safety is diminished further in these months due to the consumption of alcohol and speeding. I appeal to all those socialising during the Christmas and New Year period to do so responsibly and never, ever, drink and drive. As Minister for Transport I am currently bringing legislation through the Dáil that will introduce an automatic disqualification for people who are caught drink driving and my Department has also started work on tackling issues involving speeding offences and fines. But I would urge everyone, please do not drink and drive and keep to the speed li