Home Anty-Climax Surprise: Australians’ year of living dangerously is age 40

Surprise: Australians’ year of living dangerously is age 40


We like to say that teenagers take risks because they think they’re invulnerable. It turns out the teens may be right, at least comparatively.

According to a study by insurance firm Suncorp Life, the riskiest age in an Australian’s life is 40.

Yep. The Big Four-Oh is the year of living dangerously. Go figure.

The Suncorp Life study analysed the top five accidental causes of death in Australia in 2008. The five were traffic accidents, poisoning, falls, drowning and choking.  The report’s release was timed to coincide with the summer holidays, as people flock to beaches, rivers and pools to fend off the heat.

The report challenges commonly held beliefs about the risk-taking of Australian youth, and shows those about to enter middle age are unluckier than many thought.

“Surprisingly, it is not the young who are most at risk of accidental death, but those approaching middle age, with 40 years old the average year of death across the top five accident categories,” Suncorp Life CEO Geoff Summerhayes said.

From a generational point of view:

  • Generation Z (0-18 years) is most prone to drowning
  • Generation Y (19-30 years) has the highest incidence of road deaths
  • Generation X (31-45 years) is most likely to suffer from accidental poisoning
  • The baby boomers (46-64 years) are most at risk from choking deaths and falls

The report also found that Western Australia is the most accident-prone state per capita, while New South Wales is the safest.

Traffic deaths were, by far, the biggest cause of death, with a rate of 6.1 per 100,000 Australians. The rate for No. 2, poisoning, was only 2.9.

The 2008 data was gathered from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport and Work Safe Australia.

Image by edSos.de

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