The 2020 Road Safety Review of Fatal Collisions

On the 21st of January 2021, the Irish Road Safety Authority released its 2020 provisional review of fatal collisions. As this review is subject to change as more information becomes available we feel enough time has now elapsed that the statistics we’re going to present will remain accurate for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, the 2020 road safety review makes for some grim reading. At its core, the review reveals that there has been an increase in fatal collisions and overall fatalities on Irish roads in 2020. This is particularly surprising considering 2020 was marked with long pandemic mandated lockdowns, so it’s reasonable to assume there would have been fewer cars on Irish road in 2020. Despite this, there has been a 6% increase in fatal collisions. We’d like to drill into these numbers and see how they relate to cyclists and motorbike users.


Fatal Accidents on Irish Roads

Although statistics help analyse the propensity of road traffic accidents, they are fundamentally de-humanising. After all, statistics are not simply numbers on a screen. These deaths represent a lost human life. These numbers represent a family and friend network that has lost a loved one. These numbers represent a tragedy and a pain that will be felt for years to come.
With that in mind, it may be best to start with the good news. Although overall road fatalists have increased by 6%, drivers are the only group of road users that have seen a decrease in deaths. When we compare data from 2019 to 2020, 12 fewer drivers lost their lives on Irish roads last year.


Fatal Accidents Involving Cyclists and Motorcyclists

Unfortunately, two groups that are overrepresented in fatality statistics are cyclists and motorcyclists. 10 cyclists lost their lives on Irish roads in 2020. This is an increase of two compared to 2019. A total of 17 motorcyclists died in fatal collisions this year which is an increase of 1 when compared to the previous year. The motorcyclist numbers are particularly concerning as according to the RSA, motorcyclists only account for 2% of all road users, yet in 2020 motorcyclist deaths represented 11% of all road fatalities.



What are to conclude from these statistics? It’s obvious that despite Irish roads being quieter during 2020 and despite continuing investment into cycle lanes and road safety campaigns, Irish roads remain dangerous for pedal cyclists and motorcyclists. These statistics only represent fatal collisions and not the myriad of accidents that cause an injury instead of a fatality. If you’re a cyclist or motorcyclist that has suffered an accident and want to know how to make a bike accident claim, please get in contact with our Dublin offices today.


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