Ireland's most dangerous roads

An AA report has found that the most dangerous continuous stretch of road in Ireland is between Edgeworthstown and Armagh. In fact, looking at the risk rate map border roads seem to be very well represented.

Other dangerous roads include the N54 between Clones and Monaghan, the N53 between Dundalk and the border as well as the road from Letterkenny to Strabane.

Irish single carriageways have a collision rate of 11.5 fatal or injury crashes for every billion vehicle kilometres in the Irish Republic, 12.4 per billion in Northern Ireland. According to the AA, remarkably given their excellent road safety record overall, British single carriageways are no better with a rate of 12.4.

Between 1998 and 2002 there were 2.3 fatal collisions per billion vehicle kilometres on the Irish Republic’s motorways compared to a UK figures of 1.9 while Sweden and the Netherlands had figures of 1.7.

“But most striking is the fact that similar roads in Sweden are far safer. It is clear that there are lessons for Ireland to learn from Sweden in terms of road design and management, including the more widespread provision of crash barriers and ‘2+1’ lanes roads.

“91 per cent of collisions on our road network happen on single carriageways.” Says Conor Faughnan, public affairs manager of AA Ireland. “We simply must find ways of making those roads more forgiving. At speeds of 100 kph, head on crashes or collisions with roadside objects or pedestrians are invariably fatal. We must find ways of recognising the causes of these routine, predictable deaths and managing them out of our road system.”

Those who have driven in Spain won’t be surprised to hear the motorway figure there was 11.3.