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13% rise in road deaths recorded in 2022

road safety 01.01.2023

Figures updated as of 11 January 2023. Please note for the most up to date fatality information for 2022 please click here


  • 2022 sees doubling of pedestrian deaths
  • Drivers account for 39% of fatalities
  • 1,292 people seriously injured*
  • Cork (13), Dublin (13) and Limerick (10) record highest number of fatalities by county
  • Almost 1 in 5 drivers and passengers killed found not to have been wearing a seatbelt

Provisional road collision figures show that the number of road deaths in 2022 increased by 13% compared to 2021.

A total of 155 people died in 149 fatal road collisions in 2022 compared to 137 deaths in 124 fatal road collisions in 2021. This represents an increase of 18 deaths or a 13% rise in road fatalities compared to last year*. The figures were published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) today Sunday 1 January 2022, following an analysis of provisional fatal collision reports from An Garda Síochána.

The figures also indicate that the number of pedestrians killed in 2022 (41, +21) doubled compared to 2021. Despite a decrease in the number of drivers killed (60, -10), drivers still accounted for the highest proportion of fatalities at 39%. The number of passenger fatalities increased (22, +4) a 22% increase. 7 cyclists were killed in 2022, the same number as 2021. (See Table 1 for breakdown of road user fatalities).

Provisional figures for serious injuries indicate that 1,292* serious injuries were recorded up to the 29 December 2022 compared to 1,342* up to the same period in 2021.

Cork (13), Dublin (13) and Limerick (10) were the counties that recorded the highest number of deaths. (See Table 3 for breakdown of fatalities by county). Where it was possible to establish the use of a seatbelt or not among drivers and passengers killed, a total of 19% were found not to have been wearing a seatbelt.

Commenting on road safety in 2022, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers said, “I am very concerned that so many lives have been lost on the roads in 2022. The high number of pedestrian deaths, who are the most vulnerable of road users in our community, is also worrying. Working together, we can reverse this trend in 2023. For my part, I am determined to work with all the agencies signed up to the Government’s Road Safety Strategy to action measures to make our roads safe. Specifically, I look forward to the enactment of the new Road Traffic and Roads Bill in 2023. The Bill, amongst other road safety measures, will allow for the direct linking of vehicle and driver records held on the National Vehicle and Driver File which will assist An Garda Síochána in their road traffic enforcement activities. It will also allow for the regulation of e-scooters on public roads and will allow Transport Infrastructure Ireland to vary speed limits on sections of the M50.”

Ms. Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson, RSA said, “The end of year road fatality figures for 2022 should serve as a reminder to us all of our shared responsibility to always be safety aware on our roads, and to pay special attention to motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians. We simply must get back on track and reverse the increase in deaths. It means that all of us must accept greater responsibility when using the road and become custodians and champions for safety on the road. It also means progressing the 50 high impact and 136 supporting actions in the Road Safety Strategy. By doing this we can save lives and prevent injuries and put us on track to cut road deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030.”

Mr Sam Waide, Chief Executive, RSA said, “A priority area for action in 2023 will be safer speeds. Inappropriate and excessive speed will be a key focus of our communications. Specifically, the need for drivers to slow down, and the consequences of speeding for pedestrians and cyclists. A recent RSA observational survey found that 77% of drivers were driving in excess of the posted speed limit of 50km/hϮ. Urging drivers to slow down on 80km/h and 100km/h rural roads will also be an important area for the RSA next year given the fact that 69% of fatal crashes happened on these roads in 2022.”

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána, said “Sadly 2022 saw a rise in fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.  We think of the families, friends and communities impacted by such devastating loss and injury.  We are committed to reversing this trend and will continue to work with all agencies and ensure we play our part in delivering the government Road Safety Strategy and measures needed to make our roads safer.”

She added, “During 2022 we continued our focus on the road traffic life saver detections of speeding, mobile phone use, seatbelt offences and driving while intoxicated. All of these behaviours are leading factors in reducing serious injury and death on our roads. 2022 saw almost 200,000 speeding offences detected, over 5,800 detected for not wearing a seatbelt, over 18,200 people using their mobile phones and over 9,100 people arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated through drink or drugs or a combination of both. 

As we enter 2023, I would appeal to all road users to think about our actions and behaviours on the roads.  We all share the road space and with this a shared responsibility - let us all look out for one another - together we can make our roads safer, and we can reduce the number of lives lost and people injured on our roads and make them safer for everyone.”

Ireland’s fifth government Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% by 2030. This means that by 2030, we will need to reduce deaths on Ireland’s roads by 50% from 144 to 72 or lower and reduce serious injuries on Ireland’s roads by 50% from 1,259 to 630 or lower.  If Ireland is to remain on track to achieve these goals, we must meet our Phase 1 interim targets as set out in the government Road Safety Strategy i.e. road deaths need to reduce to 122 or lower, and serious injuries to 1,133 or lower by the end of 2024.

The strategy is the first step in achieving the 2020 Programme for Government commitment of bringing Ireland to ‘Vision Zero’. This is to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by the year 2050.


*Please note, figures are provisional and subject to change. Caution is advised in interpreting 2022 serious injury numbers vs previous years. The data is provisional and subject to change. There can be significant fluctuations in serious injury numbers until such a time as the validation of these records is completed by the RSA. 

ϮData was collected at 11 urban road locations (50km/h) using automatic traffic counters. The fieldwork was conducted in October 2021, incorporating over 9,000 observations of all vehicle types.

Table 1. Road User Fatalities 2022* versus 2021

Road User 2021 2022 Difference
Drivers 70 60  -10
Passengers 18 22 +4
Motorcyclists 22 23 +1
Cyclists 7 7  
Pedestrians 20 41 +21
E-Scooter Driver/Passenger 0 1 +1
Other 0 1 +1
TOTAL  137 155 +18

2021 and 2022 data are provisional and subject to change.

Key Headline Statistics for 2022

  • As of 31 December 2022, there have been 149 fatal collisions, which have resulted in 155 fatalities on Irish roads
  • .
  • This represents an increase of 25 fatal collisions and 18 deaths compared to provisional Garda data for 2021.
  • Almost two in three (65%) fatalities were either drivers or pedestrians.
  • Of fatalities, 27% occurred on an urban road* and 73% occurred on a rural road*.
  • A third (33%) of fatalities were aged 35 years or younger, and almost a third (31%) of fatalities were aged 66+ years.
  • Of fatalities, 78% were male and 22% were female.
  • March (16), and November (17) had the highest number of fatalities.
  • Over a half (52%) of fatalities occurred between Friday and Sunday.
  • Almost half (49%) of fatalities occurred between 12pm and 8pm, with a fifth (20%) occurring between 4pm-6pm. In addition, 15% of fatalities occurred between 12am and 4am and 16% of fatalities occurred between 8am and 12pm.
  • Cork, Dublin and Limerick, were the three counties with the highest number of fatalities (23% of total).
  • Where it was possible to establish the use of a seatbelt or not among drivers and passengers killed, a total of 19% were found not to have been wearing a seatbelt.

*Note, An urban road has a speed limit of 60km/h or less while a rural road has a speed limit 80km/h or greater.  

Table 2. Road Deaths in Ireland 1959 to 2021

YearNo. Road Deaths  YearNo. Road Deaths
19815722012 163
19825332013 188
19835352014 192
19844652015 162
19854102016 182
19863872017 154
19874622018 135
19884632019 140
19894602020 147
   2021 137

*2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 data are provisional and may be subject to change.

Table 3. A ‘County by County’ breakdown of road deaths in 2022 compared to 2021

County 2021 2022
Carlow 0 0
Cavan 5 5
Clare 2 7
Cork 9 13
Donegal 7 8
Dublin 21 13
Galway 12 6
Kerry 6 8
Kildare 7 4
Kilkenny 2 9
Laois 2 3
Leitrim 0 2
Limerick 6 10
Longford 3 2
Louth 7 8
Mayo 5 5
Meath 14 7
Monaghan 5 6
Offaly 0 4
Roscommon 2 5
Sligo 1 6
Tipperary 10 7
Waterford 1 3
Westmeath 2 3
Wexford 7 9
Wicklow 1 2
Total 137 155

 Data is provisional and may be subject to change