More than 6,000 people seriously injured on Irish roads between 2017 and 2020

For every fatality on Irish roads, nine people are seriously injured, RSA estimates

There were more than 6,000 serious injuries as a result of incidents on Irish roads between 2017 and 2020, new figures have revealed.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) estimated that for every fatality on an Irish road, nine people are seriously injured.

Of those who are seriously injured, a third suffers from life-long disabilities. Pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists account for more than half of all serious injuries.

Three in four people injured in crashes admitted to the National Rehabilitation Hospital suffered traumatic brain injuries.

The research was presented at the RSA’s annual academic lecture online on Friday, which centred on the topic of serious injuries.

Delegates attending the virtual event heard from domestic and international road safety and medical experts on the topic of serious injuries.

While there is an average of six drivers seriously injured for every one driver death, there are 25 cyclists seriously injured for every cyclist fatality, they were told.

The research also showed that 63 per cent of drivers who suffered from serious injuries were male, whereas more than half (55 per cent ) of passengers who suffered serious injuries were female.

National Rehabilitation Hospital consultant Prof Áine Carroll said three in four injuries from road traffic collisions during 2014-2018 were traumatic brain injuries.

She described traumatic brain injuries as “life-altering” injuries that “often require years of intense rehabilitation”.

“I have seen first-hand the devastating cognitive and physical consequences serious injuries have for these patients and their day-to-day lives.

“Serious injuries affect not just the victim of the road traffic incident, they can also be life-changing for their families, their friends and their communities.”

RSA chief executive Sam Waide said the figures underlined the urgency of the Government's Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 to reduce serious injuries and deaths on Irish roads by 50 per cent by 2030.

The RSA will begin a series of spotlight reports on serious injuries in individual road user groups this year.

It will partner with the Health Service Executive and Trinity College Dublin in a new collaboration to examine and compare serious injury data from both hospital and collision data.

The Government road safety strategy outlines 50 high-impact actions setting Ireland on course to meet its targets.

These include reducing speed in urban and rural areas, provision of segregated infrastructure, promotion of life-saving vehicle technologies, enhancing Ireland’s post-crash response, as well as actions around enforcement.