Here's how many people won't share Christmas with us
Our RSA expert has some chilling predictions that sadly have been shown to be only too tragically accurate in the past
Published 23/07/2014 | 00:00
A colleague shared a chilling prediction with me this week.
Based on the first six months of fatality data for 2014, our research department has been able to conduct a statistical prediction for road deaths in 2014.
By their reckoning we could lose anywhere between 156 to 216 lives on Irish roads this year.
If we continue as we have in the first six months there is a high likelihood that fatalities in 2014 could be around 186 which is the midpoint of this estimated range.
But this is not really an exact science I hear you say.
You couldn't possibly predict how many people are going to die on the roads?
Well in August 2013, they predicted total fatalities for 2013 as falling within the range of 162 to 218.
The midpoint of this range is 190, which was exactly the total number of road deaths at the end of 2013.
Therefore it is likely that 93 people, who are going about their daily routine right now, will not be with us to ring in the new-year.
From January to June 2014, there were 86 fatal collisions, which resulted in 93 deaths. This represents two more collisions, and three more deaths compared with the same period in 2013.
This increase is a major concern, particularly in the context of the increase in fatalities in 2013, when deaths for the year rose from 162 to 190, marking the first increase since 2005.
There has been a worrying increase in the number of child, motorcyclist and pedestrian casualties.
Eleven children under the age of 14 have died (up to July 10) this year.
Last year there was a spike in motorcycle casualties, and this pattern is being repeated in 2014. Eleven motorcyclists died in collisions in the first six months of this year, one more than in the comparable period last year.
Ten of the 11 fatal crashes were two-vehicle collisions, the majority involving a car. Nine of the motorcyclists were male.
Pedestrians account for the greatest proportion of vulnerable road user deaths in 2014.
So far (up to July 10) 21 pedestrians have died which is an increase of eight compared with the same period last year.
An analysis of provisional Garda reports indicates that in 18 of the 19 cases, where information was available, the pedestrian was familiar with the local area where the collision occurred.
Of the total, 13 were female and eight were male. Five of the fatalities were children. There was also a high rate of fatalities among those aged over 65.
The only area where an improvement was recorded is the number of driver deaths, which dropped from 50 in the first six months of 2013 to 35 in 2014. However, this is contrasted by a 54pc increase in passenger deaths.
It's worth noting that the year started better than in 2013, but a serious deterioration in safety is clear throughout the summer.
May and June have been particularly bad months; 36 lives lost in just these two months alone. While it's impossible to say for certain, the fine weather must be playing a part in the rise in casualties.
With more people out using the roads in the good weather, particularly walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists, the risks have increased. And so too have the levels of complacency, as we are lulled into a false sense of security.
The safety of vulnerable road users needs to be prioritised and the focus must be two-fold: more cautious cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists on the one-hand, but also more cautious drivers who are constantly on the lookout for them and can amend their speed.
It is frightening to think that on the basis of the first six months of 2014, there is a chance that more people may die this year compared with last. And of course 2013 recorded the first jump in road deaths since 2005.
Out of respect for those who have been killed and maimed, we simply have to do all in our power to put a halt to this unacceptable loss of life.