Be Safe Be Seen: Road users urged to take care ahead of pre-Christmas weekend

On the longest night of the year be safe and be seen, the Road Safety Authority and ESB Networks have urged road users.

Be Safe Be Seen: Road users urged to take care ahead of pre-Christmas weekend

On the longest night of the year be safe and be seen, the Road Safety Authority and ESB Networks have urged road users.

Over a third (36%) of people who have died on Irish roads so far this year were vulnerable road users - pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Sunday, the shortest day of the year, is also National Be Safe Be Seen Day when vulnerable road users are reminded to wear high visibility clothing and carry torches.

Before the start of the pre-Christmas weekend, there were 141 traffic fatalities, compared to 135 last year.

Vulnerable road users accounted for 50 deaths.

A breakdown of the type of road user who died shows that there were 26 pedestrians, 73 drivers, 17 passengers, 17 motorcyclists and eight pedal cyclists.

During the darkest months of the year and when road conditions can be especially bad vulnerable road users are most at risk.

Speed is a factor in a third of fatal crashes.

A pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 50km/h only has a 50% chance or survival but that increases to 90% if the car is travelling at 30km/h.

Drivers must slow down, particularly when visibility is poor, to allow enough time to react to cyclists and pedestrians on the road.

RSA chief executive, Moyagh Murdock, said research on serious road collisions between 2014 and 2017 found that half of those who suffered serious injuries were vulnerable road users.

She pointed out that over a third (36%) of the road fatalities so far this year were vulnerable road users.

“Such figures are stark reminders to all road users to take care,” she said.

Ms Murdock said motorists should have the dipped lights on their vehicles switched on during the day so they can be clearly seen.

“We also urge cyclists and pedestrians to wear reflective material such as a high-visibility vest, particularly on unlit rural roads."

The RSA and ESB Networks are asking people to show their support for National Be Safe, Be Seen day by sending photos of themselves wearing a high visibility vest or jacket on Sunday.

Photos can be sent to the RSA via their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat profiles.

They can also use ESB Networks' Twitter account @ESBNetworks using #BeSafeBeSeen.

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