Galway had Ireland’s third highest number of road traffic fatalities last year, with 12 deaths on our roads in 2021.
End of year figures from the Road Safety Authority show that of the 133 people killed in collisions last year, the only counties worse affected were Dublin (20) and Meath (14).
Despite this, the RSA has said that road deaths hit a record low overall last year, with 13 fewer fatalities overall compared with 2020. This made it the safest year since road deaths were first recorded in 1959.
Provisional figures also indicate that 1,091 serious injuries were recorded up to December 21 last year, compared to 1,105 in 2020.
Minister of State and Galway TD Hildegarde Naughton said that the reduction in deaths and serious injuries is very welcome news.
“I want to thank road users for making it a safer year, especially after 2020 was such a bad year for road safety.”
“However, I am conscious that this news will come as cold comfort to those who have been injured and the families left grieving the loss of a loved one. It reminds us that one death or serious injury is one too many.”
The number of drivers and motorcyclists killed on the roads last year increased by nine and four respectively according to RSA figures.
But the number of pedestrian deaths was cut almost in half, down from 32 in 2020 to just 18 this year, and the lowest number seen in the past 25 years.
There was also a reduction in the number of passengers and cyclists killed. Deaths among cyclists dropped by three to 7 deaths, while the 17 passengers killed was a reduction of 8 on 2020.
Just three counties went the full year without seeing a single person killed in a crash; Leitrim, Offaly, and Carlow. Counties Wicklow, Waterford, and Sligo each recorded a single road death in 2021.
Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA, said “While we never know who these people are, it is important that the road using public know that because of their choices and actions, fewer families had to deal with road trauma in 2021.”
“However, as the past week has shown tragedy on the road can occur in a split second, we all need to be aware of just how fragile our lives are and take extra care on the road.”
“Given that 75% of all road deaths were male, we must continue to target interventions at this group. It is vital that we continue the downward trend across all road user categories in 2022 and beyond.”