NI Driver – Passenger Fatalities

toy-cars A study of motor vehicle driver and passenger fatalities in Northern Ireland

Research analyst: Elaine Hardy PhD

The study would be based on an analysis of the findings of Forensic Science Department/Road Traffic Collision Investigation Unit, the Coroner’s Service Northern Ireland and supported by the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund.


A Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) report indicates that most of the casualties on Northern Ireland roads are caused by poor road user behaviour, however there are difficulties of separating out causation factors, when many different changes (technological, behavioural, meteorological, financial and other) are occurring at the same time. This is a recurring challenge for road safety work.

According to the PSNI statistics, between 1st January 2011 and 31st December 2012 there were 44 drivers of motor vehicles killed (33 males and 11 females) and 21 passengers killed (8 males and 13 females). Of the drivers killed, 61.4% were aged over 34 years while of the passengers killed, 66.7% were aged 34 years and under.


The information available from Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) is highly detailed, up to date and could provide a wealth of information relating to the nature of the collision, type of vehicles involved, age, sex and physical condition of the vehicle driver and passenger, location (i.e. rural, urban), time of day, weather conditions and so forth which could address the nature of vehicle occupant fatalities and thus provide a unique opportunity to offer solutions and recommendations to reduce this type of road fatality.

The purpose of focussing on fatalities between 2011 and 2012 is due to the time required to conclude the cases and the outcome of the Coroners’ Inquests of each fatality. In particular the outcome of the Coroners’ Inquests can and do take up to 2 years to complete and until the inquests are finalised, the information relating to the cases is not available to public scrutiny.

Proposed Methodology

To carry out a qualitative and quantitative study by analysing the findings of vehicle occupant fatalities between the period 2011 and 2012 of the Forensic Science Road Traffic Collision Investigation Unit (FSNI) to identify the circumstances leading to the event to determine why the accident happened and to draw conclusions from each case. This will be followed up with an analysis of the outcome of the Coroners’ Service files relevant to each case provided by the FSNI.

For Further Information Contact

Dr Elaine Hardy

E-mail: Click Here

Tel mobile: 07808725830

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