Older pedestrians face biggest risk - RSA


October 3, 2018

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  • Pedestrians are recognised as vulnerable road users and new research has found that older pedestrians face the highest risk of being involved in a fatal accident.

    According to the findings from the Road Safety Authority (RSA), pedestrian fatalities have reduced significantly over the years, from a high of 150 in 1990 to 31 last year.

    However, the highest number of pedestrian fatalities occur in people aged 75 and older.

    The research focused on pedestrian fatalities which took place in Ireland between 2008 and 2015. During this time, 313 pedestrians were killed on Irish roads, accounting for 19% of all road fatalities during this time.

    The highest number of deaths occurred in people aged 75 and older (48 deaths), while the lowest was among young people aged between 13 and 17 (14 deaths). Twenty six children under the age of 12 lost their lives during this time.

    Some 65% of those killed were female.

    The research found that 44% of pedestrian deaths took place between October and January, and 47% occurred between Friday and Sunday.

    Some 30% of pedestrian deaths took place between 5pm and 10pm, however a further 22% took place between midnight and 5am - a high figure given the reduced traffic volume that tends to be on the roads at this time.

    Over half of deaths took place during hours of darkness, and among those killed in the dark, 98% were not wearing high visibility clothing.

    The highest number of pedestrian fatalities between 2008 and 2015 took place in Dublin (60 deaths), followed by Cork (30) and Galway (26). The lowest number took place in Offaly (two deaths).

    In cases where the details were known, the vast majority of pedestrian deaths took place when the person was out socially.

    Meanwhile, over 200 of those who died were tested for alcohol consumption and among these, 49% were confirmed to have consumed alcohol.

    "Over the last decade, there has been a 60% reduction in the number of pedestrians dying on our roads. Despite this, further progress has to be made as one in five people killed on the roads is a pedestrian. Pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable of our road users and these research findings will help us understand the factors which contribute to unnecessary pedestrian deaths," commented RSA chief executive, Moyagh Murdock.

    The findings were released as part of Irish Road Safety Week, which runs until October 7.


    © Medmedia Publications/ 2018