Nearly 4000 lives have been lost on Irish roads and over 10,000 serious injuries have been suffered in road accidents since 2001, a conference heard today.
The AXA Roadsafe Roadshow delivered a hard-hitting road safety message to teenagers in Kerry in conjunction with An Garda Siochana.
With fatal collisions at 177 to date, there has been an increase of 25 deaths on the same period last year, the conference heard.
And most fatal and serious injury collisions happen during winter months - due to the dark nights and poorer road conditions, statistics show.
Astonishingly, one in five accidents are a result of occupants not wearing a seatbelt.
The AXA Roadsafe Roadshow is aimed at transition students in secondary schools and depicts graphically how a night out can end in tragedy.
One attendee, Ann Tydings from Lisselton, lost her son Padraig to an accident the day after his 22nd birthday. Padraig was a back seat passenger in a car that crashed in 2004.
Colm Mc Grattan, Executive Director at AXA Insurance, commented: "We deal with hundreds of claims every week as a result of traffic collisions.”
“The effects are well documented - too many people are being killed on our roads or seriously injured for life.”
“We hope that young people will learn from this event, think twice about the seriousness of safety when driving and realise the consequences of taking risks on the road.”