The European Transport Safety Council carried out a survey in on Road Safety which ranked Ireland among the best four safest countries in Europe. The death toll from accidents has been significantly reducing in Ireland. Although we are not at the level of Sweden and Norway, significant steps towards achieving a zero death toll in Ireland have been made. The statistics show a relatively safer Ireland compared to previous years when the number of fatalities in Ireland was at an incredible high. The statistics as shown below proves that we are quickly drifting towards a safer Ireland;
We are going to look at the available records by the Road Safety Authorities regarding the fatalities and their progression since 1959.
1959. Ireland experienced the first case of road fatality in its history. In one year, there were 306 fatalities. This continued to increase at an alarming rate.
1972. Ireland's recorded deaths had shot from the 306 deaths in 1959 to 640. A number that represents a 100% rise in death rates within a span of only 13 years. This number was relatively the same through the decade. The decade recorded the most fatalities in the history of Ireland and it is marked as the most disastrous decade in Ireland.
On realizing that the rate of fatal road carnage was rapidly on the rise, the government devised measures that aimed at reversing the situation. The effort bore fruits as there was an approximate 20% decrease the following decade. The number of fatalities dropped from 588 cases to 485 in the eighties.
The decrease has been constant. In the nineties, the number of reported deaths reduced significantly to 353. The positive change was noted in the following decade after the cases of deaths reduced to 179.
What does the statistics mean?
From the statistics, it is clear that there is a constant decrease in the fatality cases reported in Ireland. The seventies decade recorded the highest number of deaths. When compared to the current status, there is a 35% decrease in road fatalities. The decrease is impressive. When compared to the last decade, the results show more encouraging scenario since there is a 50% reduction from 353 deaths to around 179 deaths in the current decade.
It is true that there has been a lot of fluctuations, but the overall statistics show a commendable improvement. In 2013, the death rate rose to 190 from 163 which was not a good spirit I support of the rising trend of road fatalities in Ireland. This, however, has been met with the wrath it deserves and there is now a downward trend again
Improving the situation
Every Irish and Ireland's visitors deserve an assurance of safety when they are on the road in Ireland. The following would help us to improve the road safety situation in Ireland;
Self-awareness. Irish drivers and the passengers need to take up the responsibility to protect their lives as well as the lives of their passenger. This can be easily achieved through small acts of self-discipline such as: wearing a safety belt, slowing down, avoiding driving under the influence of alcohol as well as desisting from conversing over the phone while driving.
Improvement of infrastructure. Research shows that poor roads and lighting system contributes to a significant proportion of accidents in a year. The government should work towards investing in excellent road networks. This will have an incredible boost to the RSA efforts to reduce the road carnage
Garda should be given more resources. In 2013, the number of Garda on the roads had significantly reduced due to budget constraints. That is the year when accident levels shot! The importance of the Garda on the roads cannot be overemphasized.
There is a long journey ahead for the Irish government, relevant authorities and the Irish people in the effort of eradicating deaths on our roads. The efforts are bearing fruit; if statistics is anything to go by. Only a little polishing and Ireland will overtake Sweden to become the safest nation to drive in Europe.