End of year road fatality numbers: 15% drop in road deaths in first decline since 2012

1st January, 2016



Provisional end of year road casualty figures for 2015, published today, Friday 1st January 2016, show that there were 158 fatal collisions, which resulted in 165 fatalities on Irish roads. This represents 21 (12%) fewer fatal collisions, and 28 (15%) fewer deaths compared to 2014.


The significant decline reverses an upward trend in road deaths in 2013 (188) and 2014 (193). It is also the second lowest number of road deaths since recording began in 1959. The safest year was in 2012 when 162 lives were lost.


Commenting on the report the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said, “While every death on our roads is one death too many, I sincerely hope that 2015 is a return to the steady progress we were making as a country, up to 2012, to make our roads safer for everybody. A reduction of 15% in the number of fatalities is a positive development but the number of lives tragically lost, especially in recent weeks, reminds us that we must continue to focus on the most effective ways of reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Throughout 2016 the RSA will continue to highlight the dangers for vulnerable and other road users and I will be progressing legislation in January to tackle drug driving. While Government Agencies have played a vital role in achieving the reduction in road deaths, the real thanks goes to road user for taking the responsibility of taking greater care on our roads. By making a choice not to speed or drink drive, by wearing a seatbelt and by wearing high visibility clothing when out walking, lives have been saved. Let’s not put what has been achieved at risk and each take it upon ourselves to play our part, whether as a motorist, a cyclist or a pedestrian, in making our roads as safe as they can be in the year ahead.”


Road Safety Authority Chairperson Ms. Liz O’Donnell said, “It’s difficult to describe 2015 as a success when 165 people lost their lives on the roads and especially after the carnage we witnessed in the final weeks of year. But the number of people being killed on the road is the only way we can measure success or failure and it’s important that people know progress is being made and their efforts are making a difference. So, to put it simply, because road users took greater care on the road last year they saved one life every two weeks compared to 2014. But we can save so many more lives and my appeal to all road users is to make a pledge to practice more, good road safety habits in 2016. I would also urge people to be extra vigilant over the next few weeks of anticipated bad weather and resultant flooding.”


Ms. O’Donnell also paid tribute to the work of the Gardai and Emergency Services, “It is important, as we come to the end of another year, that we acknowledge and thank those on the front line in road safety. The Gardai, Ambulance and Paramedic crews, Fire Brigade personnel, Nurses, Doctors and Carers who are responsible for ensuring we stay safe on the roads and for caring for those who have been affected by road trauma. Our thoughts are also with the families of the bereaved and we will work to ensure that fewer families suffer such tragedy in 2016.”


RSA Chief Executive, Ms. Moyagh Murdock said that, “2016 will be a challenging year. It is vital that we build on the success of 2015 and not regress as we did in 2013 and 2014. We have already held detailed meetings with our colleagues in An Garda Síochána to ensure our education and awareness plans for 2016 are closely aligned with their policing efforts. The focus for the RSA will be on the challenges posed by Driver Distraction, in particular mobile phone use while driving, the dangers of low level speeding and the consequences of this behaviour for vulnerable road users. We will also raise awareness of the new enforcement intervention to be introduced to tackle drug driving. In addition to these priorities, we need to go back to basics and revisit some old chestnuts that have worryingly resurfaced as significant pre-crash factors in collisions, namely drink driving and non-seatbelt wearing.”


Chief Superintendent Mark Curran, Garda National Traffic Bureau, An Garda Síochána while welcoming the reduction in fatalities in 2015, highlighted that 20 persons have lost their lives on Irish Roads in December 2015, with 15 road deaths in the last two weeks alone. This is the worst December for road deaths since 2007. This marks a significant increase in the number of families and friends suffering over the Christmas and New Year period due to the loss of a loved one. Chief Superintendent, Curran on behalf of An Garda Síochána offers his condolences to all effect by Road Traffic fatalities during 2015 and previously.


An Garda Síochána will continue to incorporate road safety as one of its key policing objectives in 2016 to ensure safety for everyone using the roads. An Garda Síochána is totally committed to achieving a continuing reduction in road fatalities, by education, rigid enforcement and working with our external stakeholders.


Click here to view a copy of the Provisional Review of Road Fatalities for 2015.

Click here to view a copy of the Infographic of Road Fatalities for 2015




Editors Notes:


Key Findings of Review of Road Fatalities 31 December 2015

  • As of the 31 December 2015, 75 drivers, 27 passengers, 32 pedestrians, 22 motorcyclists and 9 cyclists were killed on Irish roads.
  • There have been 13 fewer vehicle occupant deaths (-11%) and 15 fewer vulnerable road user deaths (-19%).
  • 129 (78%) were male and 36 (22%) were female
  • The reduction seen in other road users has been the least for drivers with only a 1% decline in driver fatalities in 2015 (from 76 to 75).

o   20 of the 75 drivers killed (27%) were not wearing seatbelts.

o   Younger drivers are the most vulnerable accounting for 25% of all drivers killed in 2015.

  • There was a 31% reduction in the number of passengers killed in 2015 (27) compared to 2014 (39).

o   1/3 of passengers killed (9) were not wearing seatbelts

  • No seatbelt was worn in 29% of driver and passenger deaths
  • Pedestrian fatalities fell by 22% to 32 compared to 2014 (41).
  • There was an 8% reduction in the number of motorcyclists killed (22) compared to the same period in 2014 (24).
  • There was a 31% reduction in the number of pedal cyclists killed (9) compared to the same period in 2014 (13).

o   All cyclists killed were aged between 35 and 75 and 44% were aged 60 and over.

o   Six fatalities occurred on rural roads

  • Two key time periods 10am and 12pm and 4pm and 6pm were the most dangerous times on the road.
  • There was a significant (80%) reduction in child fatalities (15 years and younger) in 2015 (3) compared to 2014 (15).
  • Compared to 2014, there have been more deaths among those aged 16-25 and those aged 56-65.
  • The Monthly average fatality rate to date in 2015 is 13 (compared to 16 in 2014).

o   April was the safest month of the year (8 deaths) July and December with 20 deaths each were the most lethal in 2015.

  • 34 deaths per million population was recorded in 2015 compared to 42 per million in 2014. Ireland has set a target of reducing deaths to 25 per million by 2020.



Table 1 Road Deaths by Road User Category 2015 Compared to 2014


2015 2014 Change
% % %
Driver 75 45 76 39 -1 -1
Passenger 27 16 39 20 -12 -31
Pedestrian 32 19 41 21 -9 -22
Motorcyclist 22 13 24 12 -2 -8
Pedal Cyclist 9 5 13 7 -4 -31
Total 165 100 193 100 -28 -15




Table 2. Road Deaths in Ireland 1959 to 2015


Year No. Road Deaths
1959 306
1960 302
1961 332
1962 339
1963 335
1964 341
1965 356
1966 382
1967 416
1968 447
1969 462
1970 540
1971 576
1972 640
1973 592
1974 594
1975 586
1976 525
1977 583
1978 628
1979 614
1980 564
1981 572
1982 533
1983 535
1984 465
1985 410
1986 387
1987 462
1988 463
1989 460
1990 478
1991 445
1992 415
1993 431
1994 404
1995 437
1996 453
1997 472
1998 458
1999 413
2000 415
2001 411
2002 376
2003 335
2004 374
2005 396
2006 365
2007 338
2008 279
2009 238
2010 212
2011 186
2012 162
2013 188
2014 193
2015 165
Total 23,790