Cyclist deaths have trebled in Republic of Ireland since 2013

Posted on: January 2nd, 2018

Cyclist deaths increasing Republic Ireland

Cyclist deaths increasing in Ireland: Cycling deaths increased by 50 per cent in 2017. And the cycling death toll is now treble 2013. Yet all other road fatalities have fallen to a record low.


Cyclist deaths increasing in Republic of Ireland


The number of cyclists killed in the Republic increased by 50 per cent in 2017. That increase occurred at a time when all other fatalities on the roads declined.

Indeed, the total number of road traffic fatalities hit an all time low last year.

Figures from the Garda and Road Safety Authority show 158 people lost their lives on the roads in 2017.

That represents a drop of 15 per cent on the previous year. It is the lowest annual death toll since records began in 1959.

The previous record low was in 2015, when 162 people were killed.

However, while the overall trend was down, the situation for cyclists bucked the national trend. And cycling deaths in 2017 were treble the number recorded in 2013.

All of the 15 cyclists killed last year died in collisions with motorists.

Another death is still being investigated as a possible cycling fatality. There are conflicting reports about whether the deceased man was on his bike when he was killed.

It was way back in 2002 when the annual figure for cycling fatalities was higher than last year. Some 18 cyclists lost their lives during that year.

The figures remain much lower than those seen in the 1990s. For example, 46 cyclists were killed in 1990 and 40 in 1991.

However, that cycling deaths are now increasing significantly at a time when all other fatality types are at record lows is very worrying.

Last year was also the second year in a row cycling deaths increased. And they had been as low as five in both 2010 and 2013.

The number of drivers killed last year was 67, down 17 per cent on 2016.

Vehicle passenger fatalities last year reached 26, down by almost one third. There were 30 pedestrians killed in 2017, down from 35 deaths.

And the number of motorcyclists killed, including pillion passengers, dropped from 22 deaths in 2016 to 20 last year.

The RSA released the following snapshot statistics for last year:

  • In 2017 there have been 158 fatalities in 143 fatal collisions.
  • There has been a decrease in fatalities across drivers (-14), passengers (-12), pedestrians (-5) and motorcyclists (-2) compared to the full year of 2016.
  • However, there has been an increase in pedal cyclist fatalities (+5) in 2017 compared to 2016.
  • The highest risk age groups in 2017 are those aged 66 and older (21% of all road users killed), 16-25 year olds (21%) and those aged 26-35 (18%). This is a similar trend to that of 2016.
  • There has also been fewer child fatalities in 2017 (4) compared to 2016 (10).
  • March was a particularly dangerous month with 20 deaths, followed by July and November (17 in each).
  • The highest number of fatalities occurred from 12pm-4pm (39).
  • Monday (37) had the highest number of fatalities, followed by Sunday (32).
  • Dublin (23), Cork (14) and Mayo (12) had the highest number of fatalities overall.
  • Non-wearing of seatbelts remains a concern for both drivers and passengers (19%).