One in four deaths makes Sunday riskiest road day
Published 24/01/2011 | 05:00
DRIVERS run a greater risk of being killed on a Sunday than any other day of the week.
And the worst time every day is between 6pm and 8pm, as tired motorists returning home from work lose concentration, with often fatal consequences.
A Government report on last year's road deaths, obtained by the Irish Independent, also shows the vast majority of drivers lost their lives last year in single vehicle crashes.
Of the 185 fatal crashes, 116 involved just one car where only the driver was killed.
In five single vehicle crashes, passengers also died.
Sunday is the worst day -- accounting for a quarter of all deaths, due to the numbers of people on the move or travelling home after the weekend.
Almost four times more men than women died in crashes last year, illustrating once again that female drivers have a much lower chance of being killed.
October was the worst month, as 36 people were killed over the four-week period.
Again, most victims were young male drivers aged between 21 and 25.
Reacting to the report, former Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said the halving of road deaths over the past 10 years had saved hundreds of lives.
Mr Dempsey persisted with his plans to bring in lower drink-drive limits and mandatory roadside drink-drive alcohol checks in the face of widespread opposition from publicans and some Dail backbenchers.
"I was determined to push through controversial road safety measures because I was convinced that they would save lives," he told the Irish Independent.
Last year Ireland had the lowest number of road deaths since records began in 1959.
But Mr Dempsey said it was still too many, with 212 deaths, grieving families and devastated communities.
"I kept those people in my mind when acting on politically tricky road safety matters," he said.
"I started my workday every day with a read-out of the overnight road deaths.
"No matter how controversial the measures are -- if they are the right measures, if they will save lives then they should be introduced. No question.
"I am acutely conscious that every road death is tragic and avoidable."
Mr Dempsey pointed to the the disturbing fact that young male drivers were over-represented in last year's road fatalities.
The Government's Road Safety Strategy 2007-2012 set a target for no more than 60 deaths per million population by 2012.
This has already been achieved, as the figure for 2010 stood at 47 fatalities per million people.