One in every three Irish road deaths are linked to alcohol, a figure which is ahead of a European-wide average of approximately one in four.
The disturbing finding throws questions over the effectiveness of the continuous efforts being made by the police force and the National Road Safety Authority to reduce the incidence of Irish road fatalities.
Ireland was recently rocked by news of the worst ever road crash in the State’s history, when 8 young men lost their lives in a horrific crash in Co. Donegal.
Public perceptions differ from reality though.
A mere two-thirds of the Irish public revealed that they believed alcohol to be a major threat to road safety, compared to a European figure of 80%. The huge difference is also likely to cast doubts over how seriously the Irish take the issue of drink-driving.
Ireland has cut road deaths by 42% over the past nine years, the ninth-highest reduction in the EU.
This has been largely attributed to the introduction of mandatory breath testing which, it suggested, resulted in a 22% drop in road deaths in the first year after its introduction in July 2006.
A major European objective is to half the number of road fatalities. Presently there are a shocking 100 deaths a day in Europe attributed to vehicular collisions.
The EU is said to be considering the possibility of adding aircraft-style ‘black boxes’ into cars to analyse car crashes and improve safety.