Back To Listing

Traffic accidents increasing on Australian roads

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

Purchase our latest detailed Roy Morgan Automotive Currency Report to learn more about automotive intentions for the different vehicle types. This report covers intentions to purchase new vehicles, future brand intentions and recent sales, loyalty and satisfaction, brand health, automotive attitudes, car servicing and use of the internet for vehicle related content. Brands are reported individually within three distinct groups: Local Manufacturers (Toyota, Holden and Ford), Mid Volume Importers (Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Volkswagen and Hyundai) and Luxury Brands (BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and Lexus).

Purchase from our extensive and detailed range of Roy Morgan new car intender profiles by make, model and segment covering brands like Honda, BMW, Holden, Mazda, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Volkswagen.

For comments or more information please contact:

Jordan Pakes, Account Director – Automotive

Office: +61 (3) 9224 5302

Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

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%