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This research project, by Tara McHugh, in collaboration with the Garda Road Safety Unit as part of the College Awareness of Road Safety (CARS) project, was supervised by Victor Hrymak. Tara conducted the research as part of her MSc in Environmental, Health and Safety Management.


This paper analyses road safety and the behaviour of older drivers in the area of County Monaghan. County Monaghan is a border County with many of the interviewees living in border towns. The literature review covers aspects related to issues regarding road safety and driver behaviour, not only to older drivers but to drivers of all ages. The literature review revealed the importance of road safety worldwide, highlighting the hazardous outcomes of negative driver behaviour. A methodology was planned and carried out to analyse older driver behaviour. A pilot study was conducted to determine the suitability and relevance of the methodology. The use of semi-structured interviews revealed solid data, displaying older driver behaviour and attitudes to road safety. In total 50 older drivers were interviewed, all of whom reside in the area of County Monaghan. Self reported behaviour including speeding, mobile phone use, drinking and driving, accident involvement and seat-belt use were examined. The information generated from the results allowed for a complete analysis of the driver behaviour. The results from the interviews carried out give an overall outlook of older driver behaviour in the area of County Monaghan. The findings from the study show that older drivers are more careful and cautious on the road now that they are older, they have grown out of habits they once had when they first began driving, habits such as drinking and driving and suffering from road rage yet they still display risk behaviour on our roads, behaviour such as speeding. Speeding was noted as a major factor which the older driver admitted to.

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