In What County Do Cyclists Run The Greatest Risk Of Injury?

Maynooth Cycling Campaign has for some time been trying to get data from the RSA on injuries (serious and minor) by county as we were interested in which was the safest and most dangerous county for cyclists.

We received the information recently and carried out a basic analysis of the data. To take the level of cycling in different counties into account, the number of commuting cyclists was taken from the Census 2016 reports. This was then divided by the average number of  injuries per year to estimate the risk of an accident to a commuting cyclist.

Ideally, it would be more useful to differentiate between serious and minor injuries and to have data over several more years. It would also be useful to separate out the number of single vehicle injuries ie where only a cyclist was involved as the figure would then reveal the injury risk to a cyclist from a motorised vehicle.  

The results found that the greatest risk to a commuting cyclist is in Leitrim where it is 1 in 24. The safest county for commuting is Dublin which the RSA categorises as one entity. Although there are more than 600 injuries per year in the capital, the risk of an injury is 1 in 93. In some ways, this should not be surprising as there is a greater expectation of meeting cyclists in Dublin than in a county like Leitrim. It tends to support the theory of “Safety in Numbers”.

Atr first sight, the results for Kildare appear quite good but there are of course a lot of qualifications. The numbers only refer to commuting cyclists ie people travelling to school/college or work so excludes recreational and many other utility journeys. It is not possible to draw any conclusions whether or not a particular local authority is getting more dangerous, less dangerous or the risk is consistent. Most importantly of all, the analysis only considers the risk of injury – not fatalities

The result for all counties is available below:

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