New figures have revealed 3,518 people were seriously injured on Ireland’s roads between 2014 and 2017 – with vulnerable road users like motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists accounting for half.

The statistics were released at the launch of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána’s Christmas and New Year road safety appeal.

The RSA figures show that, of those who suffered life-altering injuries, 64 percent were male, 36 percent were aged 18 to 34 and 41 percent were aged 35-64.

The research also reveals a greater proportion of serious injuries amongst drivers and passengers occurred on rural roads, while for vulnerable road users, the opposite pattern emerged, with 84 percent and 79 percent of serious injuries amongst pedestrians and cyclists respectively occurring on urban roads.

“Road deaths represent only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of road collisions,” said Liz O Donnell, Chairperson, Road Safety Authority. “As we can see from our analysis, 3,518 people have been seriously injured on Irish roads between 2014 – 2017. Survivors of a serious collision may be viewed as the ‘lucky ones’ but in reality, they are often dealing with life-changing injuries and personal trauma requiring many months and years of medical attention, rehabilitation and support. Not only are they learning to cope with their injuries, but their families, friends and loved ones are also coming to terms with these life changing injuries and how to support them every day.”

Almost 30 percent of serious injury collisions occurred in Dublin, 11 percent were in Cork, while Galway accounted for five percent and Limerick four percent.

“The Christmas and New Year road safety appeal serves as a serious reminder to us all of the life-changing consequences of road traffic collisions particularly for vulnerable road users,” said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.

To date 133 people have died on Ireland’s roads in 2019 – seven more than in 2018.