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Elderly Drivers and Auto Fatalities in Japan, Our Views

Elderly Drivers and Auto Fatalities in Japan, Our Views

This story, now reported in the Japan News by the Yomiuri (one of my favorite papers in Japan), continues to be told as the number of older people in Japan, and that number is growing fast. One interesting twist is that the January to June number for drivers aged 75 or older caused 172 deadly accidents, down 50, or 22.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Police Agency. By prefecture, Chiba and Kanagawa each saw 67 deaths, the worst of all 47 prefectures in the country, while nine deaths, the fewest took place in Okinawa. Note that of those killed in traffic accidents, pedestrians accounted for 501 and bicycle riders accounted for 199 of the total.

Our Views: Japan is exceedingly safe in many ways – the drivers test is rigorous, the eye doctors are great, and the rules are made clear while signs and streets are state of the art. However, like in any country, accidents do happen and it seems  that with an older society, Japan is growing old faster than any other advanced nation, the number of accidents will remain high. 

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