Are Canberra drivers the worst in the country?

stationary object

You may have heard Canberra drivers are the worst in the country. Whether it is true or not – and by what standards – nobody claims to know. If the measure used is safety, then ACT is the safest place to be a driver. In fact, only five people died on ACT roads in 2017.

As some states are more populated than others, it makes more sense to look at deaths per resident. Using this measure, the NT is the most dangerous place to drive:

  • ACT has one death for 34,902 residents
  • NSW has one death for 22,252 residents
  • NT has one death for 5,591 residents.

Given the NT is mostly rural and the ACT is mostly urban, driving conditions can hardly be compared. But it does not mean NT drivers are the worst in the country.

Driver surveys

A 2015 survey of 1,000 drivers by Budget Direct found most people think drivers in their own state or territory are the worst in Australia. So 40% of Canberrans think they are the worst drivers in the country.

However, 36% of all survey respondents think NSW drivers are the worst in the country and 54% of NSW drivers agree. Queensland came second and Victoria a close third.

The 2016 crash index by AAMI found Canberra drivers may even be more courteous than other drivers. They fall below the national average for accidents caused by failing to give way. Its index shows:

  • 1 in 3 crashes are nose to tail
  • 1 in 4 are where a vehicle hits a stationery object
  • 1 in 10 involve hitting an animal (double the national average).

Canberrans may well be the worst drivers in the country – if you are a kangaroo. So slow down in the ACT to help protect yourself and them.

Compare CTP insurance ACT.