Midleton Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to the collision, which took place at 8.30am yesterday.
The driver and sole occupant of the car, the nurse in her early 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
She was working as a nurse at Cork University Hospital and had been returning from night duty when the crash occurred.
It is understood that she was living locally in Midleton, but was originally from Kerry. She has become the third casualty on Cork roads this year.
Cork East TD Pat Buckley said the fatality was “very sad” and people’s thoughts were with the victim’s family.
“She was returning home from night duty and she was nearly home. There are no words,” he added.
Midleton-based county councillor Susan McCarthy said the incident has plunged the local community into sadness.
“It is particularly hard when it is someone so young, she had her whole life ahead of her. The whole place was thinking of her yesterday. It really makes you think.”