According to a recent Suncorp Life report entitled “Year of Living Dangerously”, 40 is the most dangerous year of a person’s life with a higher likelihood of death by accident than any other age group. Using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the federal Department of Infrastructure and transport and Work Safe Australia, the report determined 40 to be the average age of death across five accidental death categories (roads, poisoning, falls, drowning and choking) among Australians aged up to 74 years old.
The report found that almost 2300 people died by accident in 2008, 25 per cent of which were poisoned while 11 per cent fell to their death. On a state-by-state basis, using an average of accidental deaths per capita, the report 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.