Men 'to blame for most female road deaths'

 

Women are more likely to die in a car crash if they are a passenger in a car driven by a man, new statistics have revealed.

The statistics were published today as part of the He Drives, She Diescampaign, a new initiative jointly developed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the cross-border health services partnership CAWT (Co-Operation and Working Together).

The statistics show that between 1997 and 2006, 1,444 women and girls were killed or seriously injured in cars driven by males. Some 68 per cent of the female passenger deaths were in cars driven by males. Over one-third (81 per cent) of these were killed in cars driven by males aged 17-24.

Seven out 10 female passengers aged between 17 and 24 were killed in cars driven by males aged between 17 and 24.

The RSA and CAWT have jointly developed the campaign to encourage women to refuse to get into a car with a man who drives dangerously.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign this morning, RSA chief executive Noel Brett called on women across the country to “put their foot down.”

"Girls, the facts speak for themselves - most female deaths and serious injuries are caused by male drivers. This campaign is about 'girl power' and you have the power to make a choice here,” he said.

“Tell him you're not impressed with the way he drives. Every time you get into a car with your boyfriend, partner or brother who drives dangerously, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk.”

Research conducted by CAWT in the border county region revealed that 8 out of 10 people have felt unsafe as passengers in the car.

Speeding was cited as the behaviour that scared passengers the most with respondents fearful that the driver would drive faster if the speed was commented on.

However, the research also showed that more than half of the people interviewed would accept a lift from someone who had been binge-drinking.

Maggie Martin, project manager with CAWT said: "It's a sad fact but CAWT's research shows that young females are consistently over-represented in their decision to get into the car with someone they know has been drinking.”

“Speeding also played a huge factor, with some respondents even suggesting it's not cool to ask someone to slow down. But as we see today, dangerous driving kills. And you are more at risk of being killed if you are a female aged 17-24 being driven in a car by a male aged 17-24,” she added.