You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox

Young Person Car

Getting a licence is a rite of passage for many teens. It allows young Australians to have a greater level of mobility and independence to work, study, travel and visit friends.

But the sad fact is that Australia’s young drivers are over-represented in serious road crash statistics. They make up just 14 per cent of all licence holders, but are involved in about 25 per cent of serious incidents.

For that reason, there are often calls for the driving age to be changed, and there are usually two schools of thought:

  • lower the age at which young people can gain a learner's permit so that they have more time and greater exposure under more controlled circumstances; or
  • raise the age for young people to be eligible for a learner’s permit or probationary licence, therefore allowing them more time to mature before getting behind the wheel.

Slater and Gordon conducted some interesting research on this matter recently. We surveyed more than 2,000 Australians and asked if they think the driving age should be changed. The majority (67 per cent) of respondents said it should stay the same.

33 per cent said it should be changed. 84 per cent of those said it should be raised and 16 per cent said it should be lowered.

As we can see from this research, the majority of the community we surveyed clearly think the driving age is just right. But of the one-third of Australians who did want a change, the overwhelming majority said it should be higher.

Another issue raised by many people is the need to have tighter controls around what young people can drive, how they drive and when they are able to drive. Again, road safety authority statistics will show that there are particular times on particular days where young drivers are at greatest risk.

Already, various state and territory governments are endeavouring to reduce the risk of injury or death by limiting the engine size for young motorists and how many passengers they are able to carry at particular times. Do we as a community want more of this control or believe it will make a difference?

The reality is that whether we raise or lower the age or tighten conditions, we have a shared responsibility to be safe on the roads and to protect all road users, particularly younger drivers and their passengers.

The responsibility for this can't be left at the feet of governments alone. Instead, it relies on all of us to do whatever we can – education or awareness campaigns for instance – to reduce the dangers on the road and to minimise the risk of injury or death.

There’s no doubt that the debate about changing the driving age and conditions will continue for years to come – but the question remains, what are we willing to do about it?

Find out where you stand for free in 2 – 3 minutes

If you or a family member have been injured in any kind of road accident, you might be entitled to a range of compensation benefits. Answer a few simple questions to find out where you stand and, if eligible, book a free appointment with one of our caring and experienced lawyers.

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

Thank you for your feedback.

Related blog posts

Compensation Law
A work injury can affect you more than just physically

Work is an integral part of the daily lives for many of us, and when we go into work each day we fully expect to then return home without incident. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as according to WorkSafe Victoria 27,925 new workplace injury claims were received last year*. Sadly, despite improved work health and safety practices, workplace injuries can still happen. Many people who’ve gone through a workplace accident, injury or illness have often noted how it turned their lives upside down, often leading to feelings of distress emotionally, physically or financially. Slater and Gordon National Manager of Social Work Services, Olga Gountras explains “nobody goes to work...

Shutterstock 2051360975
Compensation Law
As a firefighter Mike spent 24 years helping people, now he wants to help other firefighters

At 75 years old, Mike McGee likes spending quiet time with his wife, enjoying the seaside views from their home, or in his woodworking workshop, wood-turning and carving his next project. These days Mike has found a nice serenity in his retirement, after 24 years in the ACT Fire & Rescue, it’s a well deserved peace. Mike joined the fire-brigade in 1976 and has pretty much done it all – from working with bushfire tankers out in the regions, to taking emergency calls – no two days in his 24-year career was the same. Mike enjoyed his work, as a shift worker it allowed him the opportunity to spend more time with his wife and kids – a rarity at the time. He also loved the comradery,...

Mike Mc Gee
Compensation Law
Injured on the road for work? Who should you make a compensation claim with?

In every state and territory, we have a number of different schemes and programs to help people who have been injured get back on their feet. If you’ve become injured or ill at work, you can make a claim for Worker’s Compensation. If you’ve suffered an injury on the roads there are a range of compensation benefits you can claim through Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. Most of us will rely on a motor vehicle of some sort, either as a passenger or driver, to get to and from work each day, and sometimes even during work time. If you get hurt in a motor vehicle accident (including on public transport), whilst you’re working, your claim for compensation for time off work and...

Traffic jam

We're here to help

Start your online claim check now. Or, if you have a question, get in touch with our team.