record low  | 

2021 sees lowest number of road deaths in Ireland since records began

133 people died on Irish roads in 2021


Clodagh Meaney

2021 recorded the lowest number of road deaths in Ireland since records began.

Statistics show that the number of road deaths last year dropped to a record low, making it the safest year since road deaths were first recorded in 1959.

A total of 133 people died in 120 fatal road collisions in 2021 compared to 146 deaths in 135 fatal road collisions in 2020 resulting in a 9% drop in fatalities.

Men accounted for almost three quarters of those who died on Irish roads during the last year.

1972 saw the highest number of road deaths in the country with 640 fatalities.

The figures were published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) on Friday 31 December 2021, following an analysis of provisional fatal collision reports by An Garda Síochána.

The figures indicate that while 18 pedestrians were killed in 2021, it is the lowest number of pedestrian deaths over the last 25 years.

There were increases in fatalities among both drivers and motorcyclists in 2021.

Figures for serious injuries indicate that 1,091 serious injuries were recorded up to the 21st of December 2021 compared to 1,105 in 2020.

The Government’s Road Safety Strategy for 2021 to 2030 aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 50% over the next decade with an aim to achieve no deaths or serious injuries on the road by 2050.

“It is very welcome news that there has been a reduction in the number of road deaths and serious injuries this year. I want to thank road users for making it a safer year, especially after 2020 was such a bad year for road safety,” Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said.

“I am conscious that this news will come as cold comfort to those who have been injured and the families left grieving the loss of a loved one.”

“It reminds us that one death or serious injury is one too many.”

Ms Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA said: “The reduction in road deaths this year means that lives have been saved.”

“While we never know who these people are, it is important that the road using public know that because of their choices and actions, fewer families had to deal with road trauma in 2021.”

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Garda Roads Policing and Community Engagement added: “I want to take this opportunity to thank the majority of law abiding road users who acted responsibly in 2021 and to the road users who supported the road safety initiatives of An Garda Síochána and the RSA.”

"Regrettably, there are some drivers who continue to put not only their own lives but the lives of other road users at risk.”

Just yesterday, three people tragically died following a two-car road collision in Kells, Co. Meath.

Gardaí confirmed that the crash occurred at the N52 slip road in Kells, beside the M3 motorway at around 4.45pm yesterday evening, New Year’s Eve.

Two cars collided head on, the driver and passenger in one of the cars, both aged in their 20s, were killed.

A woman driving the second car was also killed.

Three children were travelling in one of the cars and a 12-year-old girl is in a serious condition in hospital.

Another two car collision in Co. Donegal on December 30th resulted in the death of a man in his 20s.

The young man died at Letterkenny Hospital after he was involved in a crash which occurred in Dundee at 9.15pm.

The driver of the other car was treated for her injuries which are not life-threatening.

Meanwhile in Dublin, a motorcyclist in his 30s died after a collision with a car in Terenure at 9.10pm.

No other serious injuries were reported.

Earlier this week on Monday December 27th, another man in his 30s died after he was involved in a head-on collision with another car in Breaffy, Co. Mayo.

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