Louth roads are the country's most dangerous PICTURE: DARRAN RAFFERTY
More people are killed or injured on roads in Louth than in any other county in Ireland, according to a comprehensive investigation by RTE's Investigations Unit.
Based on figures between 2007 and 2015, the average annual rate of deaths and injuries (per 100k capita) on Louth roads is 288, 11 more than the next nearest county - Longford.
Louth also leads the way when it comes to personal injury insurance claim awards and claims made against uninsured drivers.
New figures collated and revealed by RTE Investigates show that Louth is behind only Limerick and Longford when it comes to the number of awards made for personal injury claims in the ten years between 2007 and 2017.
A total of 319 PIABs (Personal Injury Assessment Board) were made per 10,000 people in Louth in the ten year period, second only to Limerick (388) and Longford (352).
Louth also features quite highly in other indicative metrics. No county in Ireland has seen more claims made against uninsured drivers than Louth. 736 claims have been made (per 100k capita) between 2010 and 2017, far beyond any other county.
That is according to figures provided to RTE Investigates by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
According to the Injuries Board, the year-on-year rises in personal injury claims is due to an expansion in economic activity - with more traffic, footfall and people at work in more recent years.
The link between more personal injury claims and an increase in traffic and footfall suggests that more urbanised counties should have more personal injury claims. In Louth, this tallies with big towns like Dundalk and Drogheda having large populations and sizeable town centres.
Urbanised areas, such as Dundalk for instance, provide more opportunity for accidents, with more public amenities, traffic volumes, footfall and industry. Louth is the third most urbanised county in Ireland, with 66% of its population living in a town.
When it came to the number of personal injury claims made against Louth County Council in recent years, Louth is not quite at the top of the list. Seven counties nationwide have seen more claims made (per 100k capita) than Louth.
The local authority have dealt with 692 such claims. With the council in charge of roads, footpaths, playgrounds and other municipal areas, council's can often have compensation claims made against them.
Between 2012 and 2017, the per capita costs of claims were proportionally highest at Louth County Council, where some €16.2m was spent on claims, say RTE Investigates.