Recently, the news in Japan have been all about the car accidents caused by people with ages between 60-90 years old, reason why many of the elderly started handing in their license and giving up their cars so that they can make a difference and prevent more tragedies to happen.
The Ikebukuro accident, also the tragedy that happened in May when two toddlers were killed on their school trip in Otsu, part of the Shiga Prefecture and again, another accident in Chiba Prefecture that barely managed to not turn into another tragedy… all these unfortunate accidents that happened in the past months have raised concerns regarding the potential dangers older drivers represent as their motor and cognitive functions are deteriorating due to their age.
「自民党安倍内閣情報官 北村滋」「警視庁官僚 中村格」異例の現場捜査と言うより下っ端警察官を操作という感じ。
— 辺野古新基地建設撤回 Okinawa no new military bases🏳️🌈 (@okinawanobases) May 4, 2019
“申し訳ありません! ・ Moushiwake arimasen!”
”I’m terribly sorry. What I did cannot be undone” – these are the words of the 87 years old driver that caused the accident in Ikebukuro not more than a month ago.
In the accident, more than 10 people were seriously injured and Matsunaga Mana, 31 years old together with Riko, her daughter, passed away after Mr. Iizuka’s car bumped into their bicycle and a few other pedestrians.
Mr. Iizuka didn’t suffer from any health issues or wasn’t under the influence of alcohol; he stated that the pedal was stuck, that being the reason that led to the unfortunate accident.
The 87 years old driver was seen having troubles parking his car, however, he affirms that he had confidence in his driving as up to the tragedy, he was never involved into any accidents.
— CIELO (@CIELO93295444) May 19, 2019
He also affirmed that due to his age, his driving was slowly deteriorating, but regardless of that, he didn’t take into consideration handing in his license because it was hard admitting the facts and decided to turn a blind eye. Now, he advises the elderly to hand it in especially if they have passed 70 years old and take precautions before getting in a car because accidents may happen when you least expect it to.
— ueo_ai（提督） (@qqb32rdd) May 8, 2019
A kindergarten in Otsu went out for a school trip with their toddlers, an event children look forward to and something that happens quite frequently here, in Japan, from kindergarten up to high school. However, who would’ve thought that this day would bring so much sorrow…
— とろまろ (@toromaro00) May 8, 2019
The children were waiting together with their teachers at the traffic light when a car suddenly rammed over into the kids. Unfortunately, two of the toddlers ended up killed due to an absent-minded mistake, a hasty decision to turn right at the intersection without properly looking and thinking of consequences.
The car driven by Shintate, 57 years old , smashed an oncoming car that lost control and hit the children from the day care center.
— ロシェル (@roshell666) May 12, 2019
It all happened in a split of seconds…a bad decision costed the life of two adorable children that had all the future ahead of them.
— タケル(音楽垢) (@piano_takeru) May 15, 2019
Getting out of the parking, the driver, 65 years old, rammed into a fence and almost hit a group of toddlers that were out in the park, playing with their teachers.
— 🔥☆とも☆🔥 熱くなれし🔥 (@sora_3199) May 15, 2019
One of the teachers got hurt in attempt to save them, but fortunately, everyone miraculously escaped with no major injuries.
Again, the driver affirms that there was a problem with the pedal.
After the many accidents that happened recently, many people of different ages were asked how confident they are in their driving and while percentage of 38% of people with ages between 60-64, answered yes, more than 72 % of the people from 80 over said they are confident.
However, according to the survey, many accidents have occurred due to the age and unfortunately, not many older drivers hand in their driving license.
Because of the recent accidents involving older drivers, many voices blame the elders saying they should hand in their driving license and some even stating that many often mistake the brake for the accelerator and not only, the age being one of the main factors that can lead to a catastrophe.
What do you think of this matter? What can be done to prevent all this? Share your opinion with us in the comments!