Fatal Road Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers up by 10% in 2018

At a certain age, people are no longer obliged to do what others do – like work, driving (especially at night), and other activities that pose threat to one’s health and safety, as well as others’.

But that is not the case here in Japan, being the world’s oldest country with 26.7% of its 127.11 million total population is aged 65 years and above.  And the trend is likely to go further extreme in the years to come, according to experts.

Fatal Road Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers up by 10% in 2018
Image Credit: USARJ NCO CORPS/Flickr

Deadly Vehicular Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers up by 10% in 2018

In relation to the above statistics, the number of fatal accidents caused by drivers aged 75 and above has risen by 10 percent from the previous year to 460 according to National Police Agency data released on Thursday (February 14), as shared in a report by the Japan News.

The figure was the third highest in the last 10 years. These cases accounted for 14.8 percent (up by 1.9 percentage points) of all deadly traffic accidents in the country last year. This statistics has reached its highest level since 1990.

The top cause for the fatal accidents involving elderly drivers was mishandling the steering wheel or brake, followed by inadequate checks for safety.

Based on the revised road traffic law which was implemented back in March 2017, drivers are required to obtain a medical diagnosis if they are suspected of possible dementia during tests conducted for license renewal and other procedures.

Depending on the diagnosis made, the applicants’ licenses may be revoked. As per the NPA, a total of 1,836 drivers had their licenses revoked over the year since the law was observed.

Furthermore, the number of drivers aged 75 and above who voluntarily surrendered their licenses in January-June from last year has reached 155,000, a drastic increase from 127,000 a year earlier as per the data released by the NPA.

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