Behaviour On Irish Roads Getting Worse According To Majority of Motorists

A majority of motorists believe that driver behaviour in Ireland has worsened in recent years, according to recent research from AA Ireland.

In response to a survey of over 7,000 Irish motorists undertaken by AA Car Insurance, 30.80% of respondents strongly agreed that motorist behaviour had worsened in the last few years. Meanwhile, a further 35.11% of those surveyed partially agreed that this was the case, with just 3.40% of respondents strongly disagreeing with the claim that driver behaviour had worsened.

“Over the past few years we have seen congestion levels in many areas of Ireland returning to levels similar to those of the Celtic Tiger era. On the one hand that could be viewed as a good sign that the economy is continuing to improve and that the number of people in regular employment is growing, but on the other hand anywhere you have significant congestion issues you are almost guaranteed to have incidents of bad behaviour. While this behaviour may appear trivial, it can be dangerous as you are more likely to make a poor decision while driving or take a risk that you otherwise wouldn’t if you give in to a rush of blood to the head,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “Ultimately no one group can be blamed for 100% of the dangerous or inconsiderate behaviour that we see on our roads, it’s important that motorists understand that their vehicles are the ones most capable of causing significant damage and remain calm while driving in order to protect themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.”

Worryingly, the AA survey also found that less than 1 in 12 motorists strongly agree that the recent government is taking necessary action to improve road safety.

Just 7.88% of respondents stated that the strongly agreed that the government was treating road safety as a priority. Meanwhile, a further 37.10% somewhat agreed that government was prioritising road safety, with almost a third of respondents (32.18%) partially or strongly disagreeing that the government was making adequate efforts to keep roads safe.

“Despite the 4% increase in road deaths recorded in Ireland last year, we have still made significant advances in improving our road safety record compared to prior decades. However, the slow recovery of the strength of the Garda Traffic Corps from the cuts made during the recession has had a negative impact on road safety which played a role in the increase in road deaths seen in 2019,” Faughnan added. “Gardaí are doing the best they can with their existing resources to enforce legal driving behaviour, but they are still significantly under-resourced and we would strongly encourage whichever party or parties that make up our next government to pursue a more aggressive strategy in growing Garda numbers.”

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