Review of road deaths to assess pre-crash behaviour

The Road Safety Authority is looking for a research company to complete a major review of what is causing fatal crashes.

The review will examine every road death over a four-year period to assess pre-crash behaviour.

The researchers will be asked to revisit the behaviour of those involved in the crash in the lead-up to each incident in order to help plan the next areas to target in the effort to make roads safer.

It is intended the results will build on the work of a similar project published two years ago, covering a period from 2005 to 2007.

This study confirmed the dramatic impact of random breath-testing in 2006.

The RSA’s Brian Farrell said the planned review would go beyond what the gardaí would fill out at the roadside and will look at motorist’s toxicology reports and those of pedestrians.

“It’s a report that will be looking at pre-crash behaviour,” Mr Farrell said. “It would be very important in terms of planning our interventions and strategy.”

The first review was published by the RSA in 2012 and a comparison of the results will be made in order to assess any changes in behaviour, he said. “It’s specifically in relation to going in and looking at the pre-causal factors in collisions,” he said.

The RSA want “a comprehensive review of these [fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012] in order to assess pre-crash behaviour, including the presence of alcohol, illicit or other drugs, or any other potential contributory factors among the people involved in fatal road collisions in Ireland”.

The suitable applicant will be required to review paper collision files in situ at the Headquarters of An Garda Síochána and collect the data according to a pre-agreed list. Interested parties can apply before August 15.

In recent times, the focus of the RSA’s efforts have shifted to concentrate on mobile phone use and the carelessness of pedestrians who have been drinking.

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