At the outset, I must say I am neither a robust republican or a manic monarchist so when I heard about Prince Philips’ recent accident I was equally concerned for the heath of His Highness as well as the wellbeing of the people in the other car.

I am passionate about road safety and thought Prince Philip’s accident was the incentive I needed to have a look at the statistics involving older drivers and their involvement in car accidents.

The Centre for Road Safety’s 2017 report reveals:

  • 8.9% of 2017 motor vehicle fatalities involved persons 80 years and over
  • 5.4% of 2017 serious motor vehicle crash injuries involved persons 80 years and over
  • 4.2% of the NSW population was, in 2017, over the age of 80
  • 2.9% of all licenses issued in NSW in 2017 were issued to those over the age of 80

In February 2017, the NSW Government’s Centre for Road Safety published a report entitled ‘Older driver trauma trends’ and the following two graphs from that report were of particular interest. The first shows the number of drivers involved in fatal car accidents in particular age groups per 10,000 licenses. The second graph shows the age of the driver involved in a crash that caused a serious injury.

What I take from these graphs and the earlier statistics is that older people are more likely to have crashes when you take into account the number of older people with licenses and the number of older people in the population generally.

The ABC reports that NSW has some of the toughest rules for older drivers. In New South Wales, drivers must have an annual medical assessment after the age of 75 to keep their licence. Once they turn 85 they have to pass a practical driving test every second year

In my experience with motor accident claims over the last 30 years, older people may be slower to react or they may panic in an emergency and hit the accelerator instead of the brake. Older people might misjudge the time it takes to cross a road or the distance between vehicles on the road. It is also my experience that older people who are injured may have more complications from their injuries, may take longer to heal and may suffer a more significant impact on their confidence in the long term.

If you or anyone you know is injured has been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 46 2359, or alternatively make an online enquiry.