The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are issuing a road safety appeal to all road users ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
It comes as collision statistics show that 78 people have been killed or seriously injured over the Easter Bank Holiday period in the last five years.
Last year alone, two people were killed and 18 seriously injured. Bank Holidays bring a higher volume of traffic onto the road across the country, and with this comes an increased risk of collisions.
All road users are being encouraged to use the roads responsibly.
Drivers are urged to slow down, wear seatbelts, and not to drive while impaired through alcohol, drugs, or fatigue. They are also being reminded to watch out for vulnerable road users including cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and motorcyclists, particularly on rural roads where most fatal collisions take place.
Pedestrians are reminded to use the footpath and, if there is none, to walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
Many motorcyclists will be returning to the road after parking their motorbikes up for the winter. They are urged to ensure their motorcycle is roadworthy before taking it back on the road. The are also advised to take great care if getting back on the road as they may be rusty from not having ridden their motorcycle in a while.
To date in 2023, a total of 45 have been killed in fatal road crashes, this is an increase of 1 death compared to the same period in 2022*.
Analysis of collisions to date show that :
- 49% of fatalities to date this year are 35 years old or younger. Fatalities in this age group represented 32%** of all fatalities in 2022.
- 55% of fatal collisions to date in 2023 have been single vehicle collisions.
Additional advice for road users to make this a safer Bank Holiday Weekend:
- If you are planning a long trip over the Easter Bank Holiday, remember that traffic will probably be heavy so you plan to give yourself additional time to allow you to get your destination safely. Plan some breaks along the way to stop you from getting tired.
- If you feel tired while driving: Stop, Sip, Sleep. That’s stop somewhere safe, have a caffeinated drink and nap for 15 minutes. Whatever you do, please don’t fight sleep at the wheel.
- This Easter Bank Holiday Weekend drivers are being reminded that the RSA and participating Applegreen service stations are providing free cups of coffee to drivers to help combat driver fatigue. The offer is available from 2pm to 8pm on Friday 7 April and on Monday 10 April.
- Drivers planning to head out socialising over the Easter Bank Holiday are urged to plan how they are going to get home safely. Book a taxi, or hackney, use public transport or designate a driver. The same also applies if we are planning to walk, particularly in rural areas where there may be no footpaths or street lighting.
- Remember: if you have been drinking, you may not be safe to drive the morning after. Don’t risk it! Use public transport, a taxi or arrange a life with a friend or colleague. If you cannot, then delay your journey until it’s safe to drive. It takes approximately one hour to get rid of one unit of alcohol from your body. A unit of alcohol is half a pint, a glass of wine and a standard measure of spirits.