RSA Drink Driving Research

Research is crucial to the formulation of road safety policy.

The RSA’s research unit is responsible for collecting and analysing road safety data. This serves to deepen the understanding of why crashes happen and what we can do to prevent them.

The research unit is specifically responsible for:

  • Maintaining the road collision database and data system
  • Analysing collision data
  • Producing statistical reports on road collisions in Ireland
  • Conducting surveys of speed and seatbelt-wearing on Irish roads
  • Carry out cluster analysis on collisions on Irish roads
  • Undertaking multidisciplinary research to understand how collisions happen
  • Proposing and evaluating ways to prevent collisions and injuries
  • Participating in national and international research projects
  • Providing information to national and international bodies as well as the public

RSA’s Pre Crash Report on Alcohol

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 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.

Between 2008 and 2012 a total of 35 people (12%) were killed in collisions where drivers/motorcyclists had a recorded BAC level of between 21mg and 80mg/100ml (and were deemed culpable due to alcohol being a contributory factor). This means 7 – 8 people, on average, were killed per year over this period at the lower alcohol levels.

16 (6%) people were killed in collisions where drivers/motorcyclists had a recorded BAC level of between 50mg and 80mg/100ml (and were deemed culpable due to alcohol being a contributory factor).


Key research

Fatal Collisions 2008-2012
Alcohol as a Factor

http://www.rsa.ie/Documents/Fatal%20Collision%20Stats/Contributory_Factors_in_Fatal_Collisions/Fatal%20Collisions%202008-2012_Alcohol%20as%20a%20Factor.pdf

Attitudes to Drink Driving in Ireland

Attitudes to Drink Driving have hardened in Ireland in the past two years. In 2017, the RSA conducted research* to assess the public’s attitude to drink driving. This showed;

  1. The number of people who say that there is NO acceptable amount of alcohol that a driver can consume and be safe to drive has increased from 61% (2015) to 73% (2017).
  2. The number who say two or more drinks are acceptable has reduced from 11% (2015) to 7% (2017).

Public support –  for drivers caught over the drink driving limit being automatically disqualified

  • 91% of Irish adults (and 91% of motorists) indicate support for any driver caught over the drink driving limit being automatically disqualified from driving.
  • Of this support group, 61% believe that if a driver is caught over the drink driving limit, they should be disqualified for more than 12 months.
  • 89% of adults in urban areas and 93% of adults in rural areas indicate support for any driver caught over the drink driving limit being automatically disqualified from driving.

*A national survey was conducted via B&A’s face-to-face Barometer survey with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults January 2017.

Drink Driving in Ireland – Watch Video