Alcohol a factor in nearly one third of fatal motorcycle collisions

Speed a contributory factor in 49% of deadly crashes involving a motorcyclist

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Alcohol was a factor in almost one third of fatal motorcycle crashes between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report.

Research by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) found that 29% of motorcyclists involved in deadly collisions had consumed alcohol.

A total of 96 lives were claimed in motorcycle collisions over the four-year period.

The report also revealed that:

  • Speed was a contributory factor in 49% of the 93 fatal collisions involving a motorcyclist
  • Six counties (Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary) accounted for almost half (47%) of fatal motorcycle collisions
  • Of the 93 fatal collisions involving a motorcycle, the motorcyclist was deemed culpable in 72 collisions and part culpable in eight
  • 30% of those culpable had no insurance and 15% did not hold a current motorcycle licence at the time of the collision
  • The presence of alcohol was most prevalent among 25-34 year olds
  • 57% of motorcyclists in fatal collisions who had consumed alcohol crashed on a Sunday

Moyagh Murdock of the RSA said the findings highlight worrying behaviour among some motorcyclists.

"It’s critical that those who are seasoned bikers, as well as those who are new to this mode of transport, recognise their vulnerability on the roads and take appropriate measures, such as initial and advanced training, to ensure their safety," she said.

"Other road users also need to be aware of their responsibilities when sharing the roads with motorcyclists, particularly when exiting or entering a side road or turning right."

Garda chief superintendent Aidan Reid added: "We need to make better choices when we use the roads, no matter what mode of transport we’re using.

"If you’re a motorcyclist, reduce your speed, wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and high visibility gear, make yourself visible to other road-users and never ever drink and drive."