2 in 5 Fatal road collisions are alcohol-related.

Two in five fatal road traffic collisions in Ireland are alcohol-related.

Alcohol consumption is a significant road safety issue in Ireland and is a factor in 38% of all deaths on Irish roads, as well as many other collisions resulting in injuries.

Even in small amounts, alcohol impairs driving ability and any amount of alcohol increases the risk of involvement in a road traffic collision.

Comprehensive international research shows that beginning at very low levels of alcohol consumption, this risk becomes greater as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) increases and the functioning of vital processes for safe road use, such as vision and motor skills, becomes increasingly impaired.

Though the ability of all drivers are impacted by any alcohol consumption, it’s evident from research, both Irish and international, that the younger a drink driver is, the more likely they are to be involved in fatal road traffic collisions. It’s also clear that men are far more likely to drink and drive than women.

A report from the Road Safety Authority (RSA), published in June 2016, revealed that between 2008 and 2012, alcohol was a contributory factor in 38% of all fatal collisions. 983 fatal collisions occurred on Irish roads between 2008 and 2012, claiming the lives of 1,077 people.

The forensic details of 867 fatal collisions were analysed by the RSA to identify the cause of the collisions – of these, alcohol was a main contributory factor in 2 in 5 (330) collisions, claiming the lives of 286 people. A further 69 people were seriously injured.

The report found that of the 867 collisions analysed:

  • 38% of all fatal collisions involved a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian who had consumed alcohol.
  • 29% of all  fatal collisions involved a driver or motorcyclist  who had consumed alcohol.
  • 9% of all fatal collisions involved a pedestrian who had consumed alcohol.

Of the 947 people killed in the 867 collisions analysed, alcohol was a contributory factor in:

  • 38% of all driver deaths.
  • 30% of all motorcyclist deaths.
  • 47% of all pedestrian deaths.
  • 42% of all passenger deaths.
  • 86% of drivers and 51% of passengers not wearing seatbelt who had consumed alcohol were killed.

To find out more about drink-driving and wider road safety issues please visit the Road Safety Authority”s website.

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