On September 1, 2006, the front-page headline of Australia’s largest newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), read: ‘Safe as cars, 4WDs escape green slip rise’
A Green Slip is the name given to the government-controlled insurance policy covering death or injury to people involved in motor vehicle accidents. Insurance companies issue the policies and the state governments regulate the scale of premiums.
According to the SMH, the NSW State Government’s Motor Accidents Authority conducted a study of 50,000 ‘green slip’ claims and determined that 4WDs caused fewer accidents than cars, and were no more likely to cause severe injuries. And, the severity of injuries caused by 4WDs was little different from that caused by cars.
In Sydney, the state’s capital city, the claim frequency for cars was 3.8 per 1000 cars. The frequency rate for 4WDs was 3.3 per 1000 4WDs. The average claim size was $51,800 for cars and $47,600 for 4WDs.
In the rest of the state, claim frequency for cars was also higher, 2.6 v 2.0. However, the average claim size for cars was lower, $57,900 v $63,200.
The results of the study didn’t go over too well with some of the anti-4WD groups, who have been lobbying the government to impose higher insurance and registration (licensing) fees on (“dangerous”) 4WD vehicles.
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