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The worst drivers in Australia

It’s a debate that’s been raging for a while. Older drivers pin millennials as the worst drivers on Australian roads, millennials point the finger at their parents. Meanwhile, insurance companies charge young drivers stiff premiums, while female drivers can get cheaper insurance at the same time that males claim that female drivers are responsible for more than their fair share of dented fenders.

To find out what is really going on, we’ve taken a look at the stats for serious, and not so serious, accidents on Australian roads to identify which groups tend to get involved in the most accidents.

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Gentlemen, the statistics are unambiguous when it comes to life-threatening driving behaviour. Statistics released for the 2016 Australian road toll show that male drivers were around three times more likely to die in a car accident than women drivers. In fact, over the last couple of years, the male driver toll has been increasing, and the ratio of male to female driver deaths is growing.


While men are indisputably the most dangerous drivers in Australia, women win an award in their own category – minor accidents. The government of South Australia provides some illuminating statistics on this topic that show that between 2009 and 2013 women were more likely than men to be involved in accidents resulting in minor injuries. And because minor accidents are more common than serious ones, female accident casualties were more common than male ones in the state.

Middle-aged drivers

Neither millennials nor elderly drivers are the most dangerous drivers on Australian roads. Instead, it is middle aged drivers, those aged 40-64, who are at most risk of death in a car accident. Not only are middle-aged drivers more at risk of death on Australian roads, but they also make up a disproportionate number of hospital admissions from road accidents, with 30% more middle-aged drivers admitted to hospital in 2016 than young drivers.

Residents of the Northern Territory

One of Australia’s least populous states has a significantly higher fatality rate per 100,000 population than any other state or territory. In 2016 this rate was 18.4 per 100,000 population, which is more than three times the national average and more than eight times higher the fatality rate in the ultra-safe Australian Capital Territory. However, there is some good news, as this is a significant decline from the 34.1 per 100,000 fatality rate recorded in Northern Territory in 2008.


Motorcyclists are prone to becoming the victims of serious accidents due to negligent behaviour by other drivers and are at greater risk of death due to the relative lack of protection in accidents. However, there’s no doubt that they’re probably not the safest drivers on Australia’s roads either. In 2016, motorcyclists were six times more likely to die in a car accident than car occupants, based on fatality statistics per 10,000 registered vehicles for motorcyclists and car occupants.

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