The Road Safety Authority have released their review of 2020 which shows an increase of 6% of road fatalities and a 25% drop in serious and minor injury road crashes over the 12 month period. The year also saw an increase in passenger, pedestrian and cyclist deaths.
A total of 149 people died on Irish roads in 2020 – compared to 140 in 2019 – a 6% rise. 2018 was the safest recorded year on Irish roads to date. 149 people had died as a result of 138 fatal crashes, compared to 140 deaths in 129 fatal crashes the previous year.
However, there has been a 25% reduction in the number of injury collisions (serious and minor combined) that occurred on Irish roads, down from 5,527 in 2019 to 4,120 in 2020.
The current Government Road Safety Strategy (2013 – 2020) has now come to an end with Ireland the second safest country in the EU. The development of a new Road Safety Strategy has been set as a key priority for 2021 and aims to embody a “Vision Zero” approach.
The figures were published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) following an analysis of provisional fatal collision reports by An Garda Síochána.
Casualty figures for 2020 show that there has been an decrease in the number of drivers killed, down 11 or 16%, compared to 2019. There has been an increase in pedestrian deaths, up 5 or 16%, and passenger deaths, up 11.
Cork and Dublin had the highest number of fatalities for all road users – 25 and 20 respectively. Saturday (29) was the most dangerous day of the week in terms of road deaths in 2019, followed by Monday (25) and Wednesday (25).
Over half of fatalities in 2020 occurred on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday (53%).
Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA, stated: “I am saddened by the increase in road deaths, particularly following on from the two safest years on record for road fatalities in 2018 and 2019.
“Overall, our strategy to reduce road trauma is working. Between 2013 and 2019, Ireland saw a 26% reduction in road traffic fatalities, compared to just a 6% reduction across the whole of the EU,” said O’Donnell.
“It is important to acknowledge that many lives have been saved and the next strategy now being prepared will build on this progress,” she said.