Posted: January 14th, 2014
The Road Safety Authority has warned of the risk of fatal and serious injuries due to not wearing a seatbelt in its provisional annual report.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has released provisional figures in relation to road accidents in Ireland in 2013, which show an increase in the number of fatal collision and fatal injuries for the first time since 2005.
According to reports made by An Garda Siochána, there were 181 fatal collisions (152 in 2012) resulting in 190 fatal injuries (162 in 2012) during the year ended 31st December 2013.
Drivers (95) and their passengers (32) accounted for two-thirds of the citizens killed on Irish roads in 2013, with the remainder made up by “vulnerable road users” – pedestrians (31), motorcyclists (27) and pedal cyclists (5).
The RSA identified that many fatal and serious injuries were due to not wearing a seatbelt; claiming that 38% of car user fatalities (in which An Garda Siochána could determine whether the victim(s) had been wearing a seatbelt) could have been avoided if the victim had been secured in the vehicle.
The report highlighted other factors which could have contributed to the increased number of fatal road accidents in 2013 – for example, more motorcyclists were on the roads during the warm summer, leading to a spike in motorcycle accidents.
However, the provisional figures also suggest that there was a decrease in casualties caused by speeding, and showed a decline in fatal accidents involving young drivers in the 21-25 years age group.
The conclusion of the report says that the RSA should allocate more resources to educate both drivers and passengers on the risk of serious injuries due to not wearing a seatbelt.