Young Queenslanders still forking out the most for car insurance despite surge in older drivers

As every young driver in Australia knows, car insurance isn’t cheap, with young men the most likely to be stung when it comes to paying their premiums. But are another, growing group of Australians set to be paying more for their premiums in the near future?

Figures from Queensland, cited in a recent Courier Mail article, showed that, as of the end of October, there were close to 8,000 licence holders in the state over the age 90 - 18 of which were over the age of 100. This represents an increase of 30% over the past three years.

A spokesperson for the Motor Accident Insurance Commission told the Courier Mail that the organisation (which manages compulsory third party insurance in the state) was closely monitoring the trend and the potential it could have on premiums for older drivers. 

“While there is some anecdotal evidence regarding an increasing number of claims related to older drivers due to the sheer increase in numbers of drivers in this age bracket, it should be noted that younger drivers — those under 25 — are still well over-represented in claim numbers as a percentage of the population and remain a major focus of road safety programs,” they said.

The recent surge in older drivers on Queensland roads falls in line with general population trends in Australia which has shown a pattern of a steadily aging nation over the decades. According to the Bureau of Statistics, 15% of Australians were aged over 65 in 2016 - with that figure projected to reach 22% of the population by 2056.

Research from the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q) revealed that, despite the fact that older drivers were predicted to account for more crashes by 2056, younger drivers were still likely to be at the greatest risk of crashing.

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Dr Mark King, Coordinator of Education and International Development at CARRS-Q, told the Courier Mail that road safety features such as signs would need to keep up with an aging driving population.

“There are certainly things that could be done to have a look at those standards and also to improve things like street lighting at night in areas where we know that there are likely to be older drivers,” he said.

“There is evidence that people, as they’re getting older, even with what’s considered to be normal eyesight for their age, will have more difficulty with signage — particularly at night.”

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