The Road Safety Authority’s end of year report shows that for the second consecutive year, deaths resulting from road traffic collisions on Irish roads have increased. A total of 196 people have lost their lives in 2014, compared to 190 in 2013, a 3% rise.
However, it represents a 21% increase when compared to the 162 road deaths that occurred in 2012, the safest year on Irish roads.
Ms Liz O’Donnell, chairperson, RSA, said, “196 precious lives ended on our roads in 2014. That’s six more than last year. These people are gone forever. For their loved ones they are not consigned to year end statistics.”
Appealing to all road users Ms. O’Donnell added, “There are small changes we all can make which are guaranteed to prevent collisions. Guaranteed to reduce consequences. And to reduce the number of tragedies on our roads, from the very moment we begin to make those changes. So I appeal to all road users in 2015. Even if you change one aspect of your behaviour, be it speeding, not using a mobile phone, always wearing a seatbelt, or just being more careful and courteous to others, you can help make the roads safer for all of us. Small things can make a huge difference.”
The report shows that there has been a worrying 24% increase in the number of vulnerable road users killed, compared to 2013. Four out of ten of those who died in 2014 were either a pedestrian, a cyclist or a motorcyclist. Of most significance is the increase in pedestrian fatalities (up from 31 to 42) and an increase in cyclist fatalities (up from 5 to 12). Though still high, there has been a decline in the number of motorcycle user deaths, down from 27 in 2013 to 24 in 2014.
Analysis of vulnerable road user casualties shows that there is a higher rate of fatalities among younger and older people. Those aged 60+ account for 40% of all pedestrian deaths. There were eight pedestrian deaths among those aged up to 15.
The greatest change observed in 2014 is a 17% reduction in driver fatalities, down from 95 to 79. However, this decline is off-set by a 22% increase in passenger deaths, up from 32 to 39.
Provisional figures show that, where known, 16% of drivers were not wearing a seatbelt. A shocking 26% of passengers killed were not wearing a seatbelt.
There was a doubling in the number of fatalities among children. 16 children aged up to 15 years lost their lives in 2014, eight were pedestrians and eight were passengers.