Research by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed that alcohol was a major factor in 75% of deaths on the roads in off-peak hours.
In today’s October Bank Holiday Road Safety Appeal from the RSA and the Gardaí analysis was unveiled of collisions between the hours of 10pm and 6am.
Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said: “Driving during off-peak hours presents its own risks.
"However, the same advice applies regardless of when you are on the road – you need to slow down, belt up, don’t use the phone while driving, never drink and drive, or drive while fighting sleep behind the wheel. I would urge all drivers to consider their behaviour not just this Bank Holiday weekend but every time they use the road whether that is midday or midnight.”
The RSA analysis looked at off-peak fatal collisions between 2014 and 2018.
It found that seven in 10 fatal collisions during off peak hours, not involving pedestrians, were single-vehicle collisions.
Men make up 87% of drivers, 73% of passengers and 87% of pedestrians killed on Irish roads between 10pm and 6am.
The age profile of drivers and passengers killed during off-peak hours is considerably younger than those killed during peak hours.
It found that 37% of drivers killed during off-peak hours were aged under 25, and almost half (47%) were aged 25-44, 61% of passengers killed during off-peak hours were aged 18-24.
A total of 46 people have been killed or seriously injured in October Bank Holiday collisions between 2012-2017.
To date in 2019, 118 people have died on the roads, which is four more than up to the same period in 2018.
Ms Moyagh Murdock, CEO, Road Safety Authority, said: “Road traffic collisions that happen late at night and into the early hours differ in key ways to those that happen during the day in two respects: young males are over-represented and 75% of fatalities had a positive toxicology for alcohol.
"Continued education and enforcement are needed to target those most vulnerable groups namely young male drivers, young male passengers and male pedestrians.”
Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Roads Policing, An Garda Síochána, said: “Our arrest data mirrors the RSA research in that 20-40 year olds, mostly male, are the ones arrested most for intoxicated driving. Many are detected multiple times over the legal limit.
"Unaccompanied learner permit holders also feature in our data, with almost 2,100 vehicles impounded from high risk, inexperienced drivers since the legislation changed."