herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Alcohol is linked to 38pc of all road deaths

Almost half of all drivers found to have drank before a crash were four times over the drink-driving limit (Stock photo)
Almost half of all drivers found to have drank before a crash were four times over the drink-driving limit (Stock photo)

A total of 26 people have been killed on Dublin roads in five years as a direct result of alcohol consumption.

A new report from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) stated that the capital ranks third in terms of road deaths linked with alcohol in the country, behind Cork and Galway.

The Fatal Collisions 2008-2012 - Alcohol as a Factor report, published today, examined 867 fatal collisions in the period to determine the role that alcohol played in fatalities.

It used completed garda investigation files, and found that alcohol was a contributory factor in 330, or 38pc, of collisions.

It also found that 286 people were killed and another 69 seriously injured on the roads between 2008 and 2012 as a result of drink driving.

The analysis revealed that almost half of all drivers found to have drank before a crash were four times over the drink-driving limit.

It also showed that younger motorists were more likely to have consumed vast quantities of alcohol before driving.

The report also found:

* 38pc of all fatal collisions involved a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian who had consumed alcohol;

* 29pc involved a driver or motorcyclist who had consumed alcohol, with one in 11 (9pc) involving a pedestrian who had consumed alcohol;

* Of the 947 people killed in the 867 collisions analysed, alcohol was a contributory factor in almost 40pc of driver deaths, 30pc of motorcyclist deaths, almost half (47pc) of pedestrian deaths and 42pc of passenger deaths.

Role

The report also revealed that 86pc of drivers and 51pc of passengers who had consumed alcohol but were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision were killed.

It also noted that many of the deaths took place the "morning after". One in 10 fatalities were between 7am and 11am.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said a lack of garda checkpoints could be playing a role in the number of people killed, and there were questions around whether the Road Safety Strategy was working, and if drink driving laws were "tough enough".

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