Friday, September 13th, 2013
It will come as little surprise to most Australian motorists that the number of drivers on our roads today is significantly higher than just five years ago. There are currently more than 15.5 million drivers in Australia, up from 14.1 million in June 2008. During this same time period, the incidence of reported car accidents has also risen.

As of June 2008, 18.7% of Australian motorists reported being involved in at least one accident while driving in the previous five years. By June 2013, this figure had risen to 19.6% of motorists. That’s 3 million motorists involved in accidents —from minor bingles to more serious crashes — over the last five years.

So which age group is the most accident prone? As the chart below indicates, this dubious honour goes to the 20-somethings, more than a quarter of whom have had a traffic accident in the last five years (and of course, many have been driving for less than five years). In terms of volume, there are more drivers in their 40s than any other group, with accident incidence levels remaining fairly stable since 2008.  

% of drivers who have had an accident in the last 5 years – by age


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Aust.): July–June 2008 & July–June 2013, Australian Drivers n= 83,652

Jordan Pakes, Account Director – Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“There are almost 1.5 million more drivers on our roads today than five years ago. With the aging population, much of this growth is coming from motorists aged 50-plus.

“While accident rates are on the rise among drivers in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, the incidence levels for each of these age groups are still below the national average.

“Motorists in their 20s are the most accident-prone, with more than a quarter of them having been in an accident in the last five years – up marginally since 2008. Contrary to popular stereotypes, however, it isn’t young men who have more accidents, but young women. Indeed, among most age groups, women report a higher incidence of accidents than men.

“At a state level, 20.9% of Tasmanian drivers reported being in an accident – more than any other state. This is followed by Victoria (20.6%) and Queensland (20.3%).

“Obviously, this rising rate of traffic accidents is cause for concern, and suggests that government campaigns promoting safe driving are not reaching the right audiences.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Jordan Pakes, Account Director – Automotive

Office: +61 (3) 9224 5302

[email protected]

Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%


























Contact Profile

Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


automotive, accidents, traffic, motorists, australia



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