Aged Drivers Blamed for Frequent Traffic Accidents
With age come riches in experience; so do risks of all sorts - reckless driving for one. Japan is fast aging and for that reasons we find more drivers in higher age brackets causing traffic accidents costing rather many lives of innocent citizens.
In a week's time by 18th this month, traffic accidents for which aged drivers were responsible took place almost daily in various parts of Japan. On 13th, a female driver in her 70's drove her car into a convenient store in Toyama City, The car smashed the store's front windows but luckily injured no one. Asked how it had happened, the woman admitted to have "irregularly driven" her car.
In Matsuyama, 14th, a 66-year-old female driver also drove into a convenient store. She was driving a mini wagon, halted half way into the store crashing the front auto-door. Again, she was fortunate not to have caused injuries. The driver told the police that she was stepping on the gas when she meant to brake.
The following day, 15th, a passenger car crashed into a company office in Kita Kyushu. The male driver in his 80's and a female passenger in her 50's suffered injuries. The car drove over the concrete-block wall and halted with its front part jerked into the office. It was another case of misoperation.
The Oyama City in Tochigi Prefecture opened an ad hoc course on February 12 to promote safety driving. Some 50 aged drivers attended the course. Police instructors cited numerous examples of reckless driving due to the misoperation of the accelerator and brake and coached them on how to effectively avoid misoperation.
In the symposium floor were newly developed car equipped with a mechanism to prevent acceleration in the event the driver steps on the gas by mistake. A 78-old man commented it great to have such a car. (Nathan Shiga)