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Summer Months Have Higher Proportion Of Motorcyclist Deaths And Serious Injuries

road safety 29.05.2024

  • A new RSA report found that between 2019 and 2023*, 105 motorcyclists were killed and 921 seriously injured on Irish roads.
  • Peak time for motorcyclist serious injuries is between May and September.
  • Sunday was the most dangerous day for motorcyclists.
  • Eight in ten motorcycle casualties were injured in daylight hours.
  • All fatalities in this five-year period were male.
  • To date this year, there have been 10 motorcyclist deaths, the same amount killed over this period last year.

Ahead of the June Bank Holiday Weekend, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are reminding all road users to share the roads safely, as the high-risk summer period commences for motorcyclists.

The newly published RSA ‘Motorcyclist spotlight report: fatalities and serious injuries 2019-2023’ reveals the peak time for serious injuries among motorcyclists over the last five years (2019-2023) is between May and September, with the highest number of serious injuries taking place in June and the highest number of fatalities taking place in the month of July**.

Eight in ten motorcycle casualties were injured in daylight, with one third (34%) of casualties injured between 4pm and 8pm. Sunday was highlighted as the most dangerous day with 20% of casualties occurring on that day.

Males accounted for all fatalities, while 9 in 10 of those seriously injured were also male. Almost a third (31%) of motorcyclist fatalities occurred at a junction, with 58% of these deaths occurring at a T-junction. High proportions of fatalities (72%) and serious injuries (70%) occurred on a straight road.

Multiple vehicle collisions accounted for over two thirds (67%) of casualties with failure to observe reported as the most frequently noted action for both the motorcyclist and the other driver involved.

The report also highlights the upward trend of motorcyclist fatalities, with numbers increasing from 16 in 2019 to 27 in 2023. In this five-year period, 105 motorcyclists were killed and 921 were seriously injured.

The RSA will be running a motorcycle safety awareness campaign for the month of June across video on demand, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram.

The campaign provides messaging in relation to four common fatal collision scenarios for motorcyclists and also messaging for other motorists to look out for motorcyclists.

These four collision scenarios are:

  • A motorcyclist overtaking another vehicle turning right, resulting in the motorcyclist colliding head on into the side of the turning vehicle.
  • A motorcyclist colliding head on with an oncoming vehicle while the motorcycle was overtaking a vehicle.
  • A motorcyclist losing control while taking a corner / bend and crossing into the path of an oncoming vehicle resulting in a head on collision.
  • Another vehicle (car, van, truck) turning or driving through a junction / joining a main road from a minor road and colliding with a motorcyclist.

Minister for State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers TD said: “As people make plans to travel over the June Bank Holiday weekend, it will inevitably result in more traffic on our roads and increase the likelihood of collisions. With this in mind, all road users need to be aware of our more vulnerable road users this summer – including motorcyclists, who are at high risk, as the report has revealed. All drivers should expect to meet motorcyclists on their journeys in the months ahead; give them space and share the road safely this summer.” 

Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the RSA, said: “In our latest review of fatalities and serious injuries for 2019-2023, we found that motorcyclists accounted for 14% of fatalities and 13% of serious injuries during that period. Staying alert and aware of those you share the road with is vitally important, especially as our research found that failure to observe was the most frequently noted action for the motorcyclist and other driver involved in multi-vehicle collisions. All drivers need to be aware of motorcyclists, particularly in their blind spots - when turning, overtaking, at junctions and when driving on straight roads. The roads will be busy this Bank Holiday weekend, with people travelling to Bloom in the Park in Dublin and the BikeFest on in Killarney along with other events, so please give space to others, especially motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

An Garda Síochána Assistant Commissioner Roads Policing and Community Engagement, Paula Hilman said: “Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable road users, this vulnerability increases during spring and summer months when we see more motorcycles on our roads. So far this year there has been 10 motorcyclists killed on Irish roads. We would appeal to all road users to look out for motorcycles on the roads and we would encourage motorcyclists to ensure that their bikes are properly maintained, regularly serviced and that they travel within the appropriate speed limits. We would also like to remind motorcyclists of the Garda Bike Safe programme available to them, details can be accessed on We wish everyone an enjoyable and safe bank holiday weekend.”

Shane O’Driscoll, chairperson of Ireland BikeFest said: “With Ireland BikeFest taking place in Killarney this June bank holiday weekend, we ask all road users to stay alert and expect motorcyclists on all approach roads to Killarney as well as on touring routes throughout the county. Motorcyclists are already enroute from the UK and mainland Europe and many will spend time travelling around Ireland both before and after the festival. No matter where you are in the country, expect to meet them and share the road safely.”

As of 29 May 2024, there have been 79 people killed on Irish roads, 8 more than the same period last year.

This June Bank Holiday Weekend, drivers are also being reminded that the RSA and participating Applegreen service stations are providing free cups of coffee to motorists to combat driver fatigue. The offer is available from 2-8pm on Friday 31 May and on Monday 3 June – just mention RSA at the Applegreen till when you’re getting your coffee.


  1. Please note collision data are considered provisional and subject to change*.
  2. There is an increase in pedestrian, cyclist and motorcyclist casualties over the summer months**.


Table 1 Fatalities and serious injuries over the June Bank Holiday period, 2019-2023***

Year Fatal Collisions Fatalities Serious Injury Collisions Serious Injuries
2019 4 4 16 18
2020 0 0 13 13
2021 2 2 13 14
2022 4 6 14 17
2023 1 1 15 15
Total 11 13 71 77

***Figures for 2020 onwards are provisional and subject to change