DUBLIN's congested roads are causing the capital's drivers to get in more accidents than motorists in any other part of the country, according to new research.
The study, from car insurance company 123.ie, found that Dublin drivers made more claims on their insurance policies in the past five years than those in any other county.
One in two motorists from the capital were involved in at least one accident over that period.
Location-specific claims figures are rarely released by motor insurers because of fears that competitors will use this information to their advantage, so the data provides rare insight into a fiercely private industry.
"Dublin's congestion is definitely a factor," said a 123 spokesman.
"Roads as busy as Dublin's generate lots and lots of small claims – fender benders and scrapes."
But even though Dublin drivers were found to be the most-accident prone, Leinster was home to the lowest proportion of claims of all the provinces.
The research also found that of all driving costs, fuel prices worried Irish drivers the most.
"It's the frequency of paying for petrol and diesel that upsets people the most," said 123.
"Irish motorists typically clock up more mileage than the European average, so we fill our tanks more frequently than drivers elsewhere. Road tax, though a big burden, is at least paid in one lump sum so it can be paid and then forgotten about.
"But people are constantly confronted by high and rising fuel costs."
The average cost of a litre of petrol was €1.56 last week, up from €1.02 in early 2006. Much of this jump in price relates to tax increases.
Separate research from the Irish Independent shows that the State earned a massive €1.2bn from taxes on diesel last year, and another €978m from taxes on petrol – more than the entire amount saved by this year's Budget cuts.
Despite this, drivers were unwilling to sacrifice their cars.
Only 3pc of consumers said they would get rid of their car first if faced with financial difficulty but nearly half would sacrifice a holiday, while 13pc would give up TV packages, and 11pc would sacrifice gadgets such as iPads and laptops.
The only discretionary expense prioritised more than driving by respondents was their mobile phone.