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Joyriding & Reckless Driving In Ireland Joyriding & Reckless Driving In Ireland

AA Motoring Panel Poll

Joyriding & Reckless Driving In Ireland

Published 10th December 2014Read Time 7 min

Nearly 1 in 3 people in Ireland have witnessed joyriding within the last month, according to our latest poll results. Among the most common manoeuvres reported by the 9,500 people who participated were ‘wheel-spins’ and ‘doughnuts’ – where drivers spin their wheels around on the spot.
A further 16% of those we polled said they had witnessed the boy racer behaviour within the past three months with our nation’s capital identified as the ultimate black spot. Thirty-one percent of the participants polled said they had encountered first-hand the dangerous form of driving in Dublin at some point. One in four of urban residents polled also stated that they regularly wake up to tell-tale signs such as black circles burned into the tarmac.
After Dublin, the highest number of incidents were reported in counties Cork, Galway and Kildare. Only 4% of participants said they had witnessed joyriding in Co. Meath, despite a vicious incident involving the ramming of a Garda Patrol car in Trim earlier in the week.
While the problem appears quite prolific in Dublin, boy racers are more likely to crank up the speed in rural settings, it would seem. Sixty-four percent of those who witnessed joyriding within the last 3 months reported to us that the incident occurred on a country road.
Overall, just under half of those we polled said they have genuinely feared for their safety at some point when faced with a vehicle that was evidently being driven by joyriders. Horrifyingly, one AA Member shared that they became trapped against a wall after a car violently veered onto the footpath.
Our Director of Consumer Affairs, Conor Faughnan on the topic: “Car thefts have reduced significantly in recent years so what we are in fact seeing is a cohort of young reckless males careering around in their own cars.  Previously for many of this group, the price of motor insurance was a barrier to car ownership. This has changed, however, over the past two years as a result of the gender ruling and we’re seeing more young men driving supped up cars.”
“It’s been a disappointing year for road safety and we implore this group of motorists in particular to repect the enormous responsibility that comes with vehicle ownership and seek entertainment elsewhere.”

Dangerous Driving Poll Results

Fig. 1 Considering the subject of joyriding, when was the last time you personally witnessed either a joy-riding event or the signs of it having taken place (e.g. black circles burned into the tarmac)? (Based on 9,559 responses)

Answer choices Responses
Within the last month   
1-3 months ago 16.24%
4-6 months ago 8.38%
7 months – 1 year ago 7.78% 
More than one year ago 17.69%
Never 17.20%

 Fig. 2 What county was it in? (Based on 7,365 responses)

County Answers
Antrim (7 responses) 0.10%
Armagh (4 responses) 0.05%
Carlow (97 responses) 1.32%
Cavan (95 responses) 1.29%
Clare (191 responses) 2.59%
Cork (864 responses) 11.73%
Derry (5 responses) 0.07%
Donegal (268 responses) 3.64%
Down (7 responses) 0.10%
Dublin (2,281 responses) 30.97%
Fermanagh (7 responses) 0.10%
Galway (390 responses) 5.30%
Kerry (315 responses) 4.28%
Kildare (358 responses) 4.86%
Kilkenny (131 responses) 1.78%
Laois (89 responses) 1.21%
Leitrim (33 responses) 0.45%
Limerick (259 responses) 3.52%
Longford (43 responses) 0.58%
Louth (174 responses) 2.36%
Mayo (206 responses) 2.80%
Meath (271 responses) 3.68%
Monaghan (49 responses) 0.67%
Offaly (70 responses) 0.95%
Roscommon (44 responses) 0.60%
Sligo ( 91 responses) 1.24%
Tipperary (195 responses) 2.65%
Tyrone (3 responses) 0.04%
Waterford (168 responses) 2.28%
Westmeath (118 responses) 1.60%
Wexford (235 responses) 3.19%
Wicklow (207 responses) 2.81%
No answer (24 responses) 0.33%
Don’t remember (24 responses) 0.90%

Fig. 3 Was it in a rural or urban setting? (Based on 7,840 responses)

Answer choices Responses
Urban 40.96%
Don’t Remember 4.57%

Fig. 4 To what extent, if at all, do you agree with the following statement? (Based on 7,863 responses)

  Completely agree Somewhat agree Neutral Disagree somewhat Disagree completely
On the last occasion I witnessed joyriding/signs of joyriding, I feared for my safety.   
26.29% 24.75% 15.26% 15.13%