Irish roads have been ranked as the fifth safest in Europe, based on deaths per million.
Figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) have found there are 33 road deaths per million people in Ireland.
Ireland has ranked behind the UK, which according to the ACEA has 25 deaths per million. The report says Sweden has Europe’s safest roads, with 25 deaths per million people.
Across the EU the number of road traffic deaths has fallen significantly in the last two decades; there were 54,900 fatalities in 2001 compared to 25,300 in 2017.
Human error is linked to the majority of accidents, with 10-30 per cent of incidents caused by distraction alone, however a raft of technology is being introduced to mitigate this.
These include mandatory emergency braking and driver drowsiness detection systems, speed limiters and built-in breathalysers.
ACEA commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said: “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.
“We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when the safety belts were first introduced.”
Seventy-six people have lost their lives on Irish roads to date this year (July 17), that’s two more than this time last year (74), according to Garda figures.
Top 10 safest countries by road deaths per million inhabitants:
1. Sweden: 25
2. UK: 28
3. Denmark: 30
4. Netherlands: 31
5. Ireland: 33
6. Estonia: 36
=7. Germany: 39
=7. Spain: 39
9. Malta: 41
10. Luxembourg: 42