Facts & Figures - Donegal County Council

By: Donegal  05/12/2011

Road fatalities in Donegal

Fatalaties 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Donegal   18   14   20   23   29   27   19   22   18 14


Population in Donegal (census figures)

Year    1986      1991     1996      2002      2006
Population  129,664  128,117  129,994   137,575   147,264
Ireland 3,540,643 3,525,719 3,626,087  3,917,203  4,239,848


Size of Donegal

Donegal has an area of 483,042 hectares, equivalent to 1,193,621 acres.

Car ownership in Donegal

In 2009, there were 59,489 cars registered in County Donegal compared to 10 years ago when there were 36,851 registered. This follows the national trend, which demonstartes a continued increase in car ownership in the state with the number of registered motor vehicles and motor cycles increasing by 65% from 1,510,853 in 1998 to 2,497,568 in 2008. 


Percentages of recorded accidents in Donegal 2000 - 2005

Accident Type % Recorded Definition
Fatal 2.2 At least one death
Serious 6.4 Hospital stay required
Minor 25 Treatment without hospital stay
Material damage 66.4 Vehicle / material damage only


Breakdown of primary collision type where recorded 2000 - 2005


Breakdown of primary contributory actions where recorded 2000 - 2005




According to the RSA’s Road Collision Facts (2009)

  • The number of road collisions per 1,000 population in Donegal is 1.9 compared to the national average of 1.6.
  • The number of road collisions per 1,000 registered vehicles in Donegal is 3.4, compared with a national average of 2.7.
  • The number of road collisions per 10million vehicle kilometres of travel is 1.3 compared with a national average of 1.2.

Facts and Figures - Road safety

  • Hit by a car at 60kph (40mph), 9 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed
  • Hit by a car at 50kph (30mph), about half of pedestrians will be killed
  • Hit by a car at 30kph (20mph), 9 out of 10 pedestrians will survive.
  • A 50 km/h (30mph) impact is equivalent to dropping a car from the top of a 2-storey building
  • A 100 km/h (60mph) impact is equivalent to dropping 11 storeys
  • A 150 km/h (80mph) crash to almost 30 storeys

Research and international experience show that the frequency and severity of road crashes tend to decrease with reductions in average speed. A 1km/h decrease in average speed results typically in a 3% decrease in road crash frequency. (Source: European Transport Safety Council).

84% of people disapprove of speeding yet 69% do it.

A TNS Survey results show what we really think of our other half's driving - and many of us are scared and angered when our partners speed. The study reveals that among passengers over 60% believe that driving too fast increases the chances that their partner will crash. And emotions run high:

  • 24% have felt angered by their significant other's speeding, which they think is 'irresponsible and stupid'.
  • 20% are scared, and concerned that they and the driver could be killed or injured.
  • 14% worried about the safety of other road users.
  • 25% admit to pressing on an imaginary foot brake.
  • Only 1% wanted their partners to drive faster.

The law of physics dictate that the higher the speed at impact, the more energy must be rapidly absorbed by hard metal, soft flesh and brittle bone.

Driving at an inappropriate speed is the cause of a quarter of all fatal crashes each year in Ireland. It reduces a driver's ability to steer safely around bends or when visibility is poor and extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle safely.

A 50 km/h impact is equivalent to dropping a car from the top of a two-storey building, a 100 km/h impact is equivalent to dropping a car from eleven storeys.

Alcohol is a factor in 37% of all fatal accidents

At half the legal limit a driver is twice as likely to have a collision

At the legal limit a driver is six times more likely to have a collision

Were all drivers to observe a 50mg/100ml blood alcohol limit, fatalities would drop by 46%.

How Alcohol Affects Driving

All drivers are affected by drinking alcohol. Alcohol affects judgement, vision, co-ordination, and reaction time. It causes serious driving errors, such as:

  • Increased reaction time to hazards.
  • Driving too fast or too slow.
  • Driving in the wrong lane.
  • Running over the curb.
  • Weaving.
  • Quick, jerky starts.
  • Not signalling, failure to use lights.
  • Straddling lanes
  • Running stop signs and red lights.
  • Improper passing.

Blood alcohol level is determined by a number of factors:

  • Type of drink and amount
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Constitution
  • Individual drinking habits
  • Whether food has been eaten

The same amount of alcohol consumed will result in different blood alcohol levels for different people.

A study conducted at Loughborough University in the UK has shown that for all vehicles about 4 in 10 fatal country crashes and close to 1 in 6 urban crashes are attributable to fatigue. The proportion of serious injury crashes due to fatigue is a little less.

Younger people (ages 16 to 29), especially males are a high risk group for driver fatigue.

Without a seat belt 3 out of 4 people will be killed or seriously injured in a 30-mph head-on crash.

In a crash at just 30 mph, an unrestrained child would be thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight.

It is estimated that seatbelt wearing could reduce road fatalities and serious injuries by 40%.

Over 90% of adult front seat passengers and drivers wear seat belts, as do 66% of adult rear seat passengers.

More than two thirds of fatal pedestrian accidents happen during the hours of darkness. Although pedestrians can hear a car coming and see it's lights, it's driver may not see the pedestrian and certainly won't hear them.

In Ireland pedestrians have emerged as a highly vulnerable group on our roads - accounting for approximately one in every five fatalities annually. 


Other products and services from Donegal


Roads & Transportation - Donegal County Council

General Information on the Roads and Transportation Service including The Roadworks Programme,Road Safety & Application Forms. This section will provide information on what Donegal County Council is doing to improve road safety on our roads. Information about the County Council Winter Weather Plans. Construction and Maintenance of Bridges within Donegal.


Donegal Road Safety - Donegal County Council

By treating each other with courtesy, obeying the rules of the road and being a careful and vigilant driver you too will help to reduce casualties on Donegals roads. 1.3 million lives are lost and 50 million injuries are sustained as a result of collisions on the worldâ??s roads every year. To achieve this Donegal County Council is working with other stakeholders through the Donegal Road Safety Working Group.


Engineering - Donegal County Council

Although hatching does not physically restrict the speeds of passing vehicles, it does send a psychological message to motorists that there is less room available than they think, this has been proven to affect traffic speeds. However over the same period of time we have also seen large increases in the numbers of vehicles on our roads and also in the numbers of new homes, which all place an added burden on the road infrastructure.


Donegal Road Safety Working Group

 The Donegal Road Safety Working Group was founded in 1997 and included members of Donegal County Council, An Garda Síochána, North West Health Board and the National Safety Council. The Donegal Road Safety Plan 2010-2015 focuses on five core elements of Education, Engineering, Enforcement, Empowerment and Evaluation.