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Busier roads mean more crashes on the M50, but what junctions see the most serious collisions?

New figures spell out where incidents take place in the busy ring road.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

THE M50 MOTORWAY in Dublin has been the scene of more than 50 collisions a month over the past year and a half, according to newly released figures.

Dublin’s main ring road is by far the busiest road in the country with nearly 145,000 vehicles using several sections on an average day.

According to figures released to TheJournal.ie under Freedom of Information by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), there were 962 collisions in the 19 months from the beginning of 2018 to the end of last month.

That averages out to about 50 collisions a month, an increase on the 39 per month that were recorded in the four years to May 2017.

Over the period in question, August 2018 had the most number of incidents recorded with 266 but that figure is not wildly more than other similarly busy months.

The quietest month was April 2018 with 178 incidents.

There is little difference between the north and southbound sides of the motorway in terms of which direction has more crashes, with 481 on the northbound side and 470 on the south.

Serious crashes were more common on the northbound side, with 10 major crashes compared to seven in the opposite direction.

Incidents on the M50 are split into four categories: low priority, moderate priority, high priority and major incident.

Those priorities are based upon the level of incident management required from motorway services and the emergency services.

Moderate incidents can often be classified as “fender-benders” while high priority incidents are often multi-car collisions. Major incidents typically involve fatalities or serious injuries to motorists.

Over that 19-month period, there were 25 major incidents recorded. Most of those related to collisions but some were unspecified serious incidents and two were cases of vehicles on fire.

Looking at category three and four collisions only, there were over 900 recorded during the period, about 49 per month.

The junctions near where these serious incidents occurred most frequently were junctions 7 and 6 respectively.

Junction 7 is the N4 junction at Palmerstown and junction 6 is the N3 junction at Castleknock.

By contrast, there was only one serious incident that occurred between junctions 1 and 2 at the northern start of the motorway. 

Other incidents

Collisions were the second-most-common incident on the M50 with breakdowns the most common. On average, there are almost three breakdowns a day on the road which require a response from motorway services.

The presence of debris on the motorway is also common but some other more unusual incidents have also been recorded.

Drivers running out of fuel on the M50 occurred at a rate of just under two per month while animals on the road are also a problem happening at similar frequency. 

Over the period in question, there were also 13 callouts due to a deceased animal on the road.

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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