More than 1,300 lives would be saved on Australian roads over the next 20 years if the nation reduced the age of its light vehicle fleet by one year, according to research commissioned by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).

The age of the Australian car fleet has remained consistently high compared to other developed nations, with the average age of passenger vehicles at 9.8 years and light commercial vehicles at 10.4 years old.

An overall reduction of just a single year in the age of the light vehicle fleet would deliver a 5.4% reduction in road crashes, according to the report, “Benefits of reducing the age of Australia’s light vehicle fleet”. The report also finds that reducing the age of the light vehicle fleet by one year would result in road trauma and emission reduction benefits worth $19.7 billion over 20 years and directly save the government $3.3 billion over the same period.

“Getting Australians into newer cars will deliver real safety and environmental benefits for the community,’’ said AAA CEO Michael Bradley.

The report has formed the basis of the AAA 2017-18 Pre-Budget Submission which argues for greater investment in road infrastructure to reduce road fatalities and injuries and a range of measures to reduce congestion. The AAA has advocated for reduced costs for motorists and an increase in the uptake of technologies to minimise emissions.

“We have called on the government to remove the 5% tariff on imported vehicles and the Luxury Car Tax, which would save consumers almost $5 billion over the forward estimates,’’ Mr Bradley said. “We have urged the Government to introduce real-world vehicle emissions testing to provide accurate emissions and fuel consumption readings to empower Australians to make better informed choices.”

“Benefits of reducing the age of Australia’s light vehicle fleet” was compiled with data commissioned from Economic Connections (ECON), Pekol Traffic and Transport and Monash University Accident Research Centre.

The report can be downloaded here.