THE number of deaths on our roads dropped significantly in 2012.
There were 161 fatalities from road accidents last year compared with 184 in 2011, a decrease of 12.5pc and the lowest number to date.
The most recent victim was a woman who died two days after a two-car collision; she had been visiting relatives for Christmas.
Amanda O'Flaherty (26) was injured on Saturday.
The car she was driving collided with a 4x4 at Cow Cross in Cobh, a notorious accident blackspot, just a mile from her home.
Ms O'Flaherty (pictured) was cut from the car and rushed to Cork University Hospital where she was on a life-support machine until yesterday morning. Her family gathered around her bedside and were present when she passed away.
A family friend, who did not wish to be named, said the young woman had been living in Dublin recently.
"She was home for Christmas. She was such a lovely girl. Her family are just devastated; it is a cruel and awful tragedy to happen at this time of year," said the friend.
Amanda is the third person to die on Cork roads in a fortnight.
Gardai in Cobh are investigating the collision and have appealed for witnesses.
Meanwhile, a toddler has died after being struck by a runaway car.
The two-year-old boy's name has not been released following the incident at a care home in Dundonald, east Belfast.
An empty white Volkswagen Golf, parked at Limetree Care Home, rolled down a sloped driveway, mounted the kerb and hit the boy and his mother, who were on the footpath.