On Bank Holiday weekends we’re used to reading about people being killed on Irish roads. But which counties have the most dangerous roads?

Although Dublin and Cork have had the highest number of fatalities, does that mean they have the most dangerous roads in the country or do other factors need to be taken into account?

As with most bank holiday weekends, there is a heightened risk of driving over the next few days. This can mainly be attributed to higher volumes of traffic as many people visit family and friends and in doing so, undertake long road journeys.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) have issued statements about taking extra care on the roads this weekend. And by looking at the numbers over the last 20 years, it’s clear the RSA are succeeding in their goal to make our roads safer. Even though the number of fatalities this year are higher than the same time period in 2015, the overall trend is that our roads are becoming safer.

In the interest of improving the safety of Irish roads, we here at Idiro Analytics wanted to shed some light on some of the details of road safety statistics that can usually be overlooked or misinterpreted, leading to the wrong conclusions.

In 2014 and 2015 the number of road fatalities in Ireland were 193 and 166 respectively. By studying the charts below, it’s easy to see how the assumptions can be made that the two most dangerous counties for road accidents are Dublin and Cork. However, these figures don’t show the full story, because there are a lot of other variables to take into consideration.

Other details that need to be taken into account are:

  • The length of road in each county
  • The number of vehicles on the roads
  • The average distance traveled
  • The total population sizes

Below you can see details from each of these different variables (note: summarized tables – not all information is contained):


When analysing all the information, we can see a clear picture can starting to form. Although Dublin and Cork may at first glance seem to have the most hazardous roads and will be noticed more in the national press, it is Longford and Monaghan that rank 1 and 2 respectively with the most dangerous roads.

Both Longford and Monaghan have low populations, low road lengths, a low amount of vehicles on the road and low average distance travelled, but it was found that they have a high proportional fatality rate averaged over 2014 and 2015.

  • Longford and Monaghan: 2 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles
  • Longford and Monaghan: 3 fatalities per 300 million km travelled
  • Dublin: 0 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles
  • Dublin: 1 fatality per 300 million km travelled
  • Cork: 1 fatality per 10,000 vehicles
  • Cork: 1 fatality per 300 million km travelled

Looking for a cause

With this in mind, we can now try to work out some of the possible causes and determine areas that may need further investigation.

Access to public transport could be one possible factor. Both Longford and Monaghan have a low number of public service vehicles (buses and taxis) per km per head of population.

Another factor leading to these insights could be found in a recent road surface survey carried out by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and the National Roads Authority (NRA) in 2011/2012.

The survey found that although Longford and Monaghan rank low on counties needing ‘routine maintenance’, ‘surface restoration’, ‘road reconstruction’, both counties are ranked number 1 and 2 for needing resealing & restoration of skid resistance.

We all know, from the information given to us from the RSA, that on a bank holiday weekend we need to be extra careful when travelling. And we also know that a lot of lives have been lost on the roads in both Dublin and Cork, a higher number than any other county.

But, one thing we need to be aware of is that although the number of road deaths in those two counties is high, they would not have the most dangerous roads in the country. Per km the roads in both Co Longford & Co Monaghan pose a greater risk and extra care needs to be taken.

Therefore, be careful out on the roads this weekend & especially so in Cos Longford & Monaghan.

In order to make this article more accessible, we’ve only included summaries of the overall data that we analysed. But, we invite anybody who finds an interest in these figures to contact us if you have questions or would like to discuss any part in detail. We’ll be happy to discuss the findings with the hope that the information can lead to safer Irish roads.

About Idiro
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Idiro Analytics is an award-winning provider of analytics to businesses around the world.

For an overview of Idiro’s analytics services, see our homepage www.idiro.com

Media contact information
Simon Rees, Clients & Marketing Director, Idiro Analytics.
+353 1534 30 34 – simon.rees@idiro.com

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