| 5°C Dublin

Garda team to examine crash causes

GARDAI have unveiled a hi-tech unit tasked with finding out how and why fatal road traffic collisions happen.

And yesterday the head of the Forensic Collision Investigation Unit warned motorists they could suffer an "hypnotic" effect by driving on motorways, which could cause them to lose concentration and crash.

Sergeant Colm Finn said that unlike normal roads, which twist and turn and force drivers to stay alert, there was an assumption on motorways that everyone was driving at the same speed.

"People will assume the traffic is moving at the same speed. You're going to get into an hypnotic state driving on motorways and this is going to be a problem," he said.

"A fatal collision is a crime scene, and very, very rarely is the road the primary cause of the crash," he added.

There are 42 forensic crash investigators and Sgt Finn said they were obliged to attend every fatal collision or crashes where serious injuries occurred which could lead to death.

He added that if a pedestrian was struck by a car travelling between 30kmh and 40kmh the chance of survival was 85pc. But if struck between 70kmh and 80kmh there was an 85pc fatality rate, while death was almost certain if struck at 80kmh or more.

So far this year, 187 people have died on the roads with one-in-three victims either pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists.

Most Watched