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7 injured as car rams into pedestrians in Tokyo

23 Comments

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23 Comments
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I will never understand how these things happen. I have been driving for 44 years, and have never stepped on the wrong peddle. And, if I did step on a peddle thinking it was the brake, but the car went faster instead of slower, I'd immediately know it was the wrong peddle, and move to press the correct one.

How do these people not realize it's the wrong peddle when the car speeds up, and not move their foot to the correct peddle before driving full speed all the way into a store or bus stop or park or wherever? It takes a few seconds to drive that far, plenty of time to at least slow down, even if they're not able to completely stop.

I just don't get it.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I did that once as a teenager learning to drive years ago. It takes a few seconds before it registers, because the first reaction is to press harder.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Pedal fatigue?

Any number of reasons, including lack of sleep, using a mobile, serious hangover, heart attack, panic, etc.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Another one?!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It’s like “peddle” and “pedal”.

How is it possible to confuse them?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I just don’t get it.

He was undoubtedly running the red, or looking at his smartphone, and because he doesn’t want to go to jail - he lied - and he’ll probably get away with it too.

We all know this happens time and time again, and will continue to happen, until sincere efforts are made to discourage and dissuade private car usage in cities whenever possible.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The car ignored a red light

So common here in Japan and this is the result. Luckily no one died, could've been much worse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If he was tired, been boozing, drugged up, had a medical problem, fiddling with his sat nav or on his phone I can understand the wrong pedal explanation. Either way, it's all negligent driving and he should be punished.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

One should be at one's workplace ensconced at one's desk before one begins "staring vacantly for a while."

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Readers living outside Japan, is "I mistook the accelerator for the brake pedal" given often as a reason (read: excuse) for running into people in your country?

Growing up and following the news in the US until I finished college, I don't think I ever heard it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

See! It's not just the oldies that are complacent drivers in Japan! Too many Japanese drivers drive around with their heads up the butt and don't give a damn about other cars or pedestrians. They use their phones, watch TV, have their kids and dogs on their laps, disregard, speed limits, stop signs and red lights and drive around as if they are the only car on the road. It's high time the cops got out of their kobans and started enforcing the traffic laws and stop focussing on raising monthly revenue to make Japan a safer place to drive and to be a pedestrian. The amount of driving offenses I see every day would pay off the national debt in six months!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Readers living outside Japan, is "I mistook the accelerator for the brake pedal" given often as a reason (read: excuse) for running into people in your country?

Growing up and following the news in the US until I finished college, I don't think I ever heard it

Quite common in the US, especially in areas with a lot of senior drivers, such as retirement states like Florida and Arizona.

Whenever I visit family in Florida, I see an incident like that almost daily on the news.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree with the above poster that perhaps he wasn't paying attention and used the recently en vogue excuse of "stepped on the wrong pedal".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How refreshing nobody is baying for the death penalty.

If he was elderly, unemployed or a woman you can guarantee the lynch mob would be out in force.

Hope the injured make a full recovery.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I will never understand how these things happen. I have been driving for 44 years, and have never stepped on the wrong peddle. And, if I did step on a peddle thinking it was the brake, but the car went faster instead of slower, I'd immediately know it was the wrong peddle, and move to press the correct one.

It doesn’t work that way. I was a traffic homicide officer in a large American city for several years, and mistaking the throttle for the brake is one of the most common causes of accidents involving older drivers. And most of these drivers had been driving longer than you.

Take a look on YouTube if you want to see some of these accidents, and how they happen.

I have seen these accidents so many times (literally hundreds of times), I taught my wife to drive using both feet, left on the brake, right on the throttle. People tend to be offended if I tell them that driving with only one foot is dangerous, but I know from professional experience that it is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

People tend to be offended if I tell them that driving with only one foot is dangerous, but I know from professional experience that it is.

It's a controversial topic, and there is some evidence to suggest using two feet is marginally safer when driving an automatic (chance of wrong pedal versus wrong foot). But there are various things to consider. In particular, whether the person also drives or has extensively driven a manual vehicle. In Japan, it's not unusual for someone to drive both - manual for work (van, kei-truck, etc.) and automatic for the family car. In that case, driving an automatic with two feet may be less safe (bigger chance of confusion). To reduce this type of problem it might be better to always drive a manual vehicle. Of course, that may introduce other problems.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@sangetsu03 - mistaking the throttle for the brake is one of the most common causes of accidents involving older drivers.

Yeah, great theory, but this driver was 52, which is far from being 'older'. She's is just another complacent and reckless Japanese driver. Age is irrelevant! There are many younger drivers who have done the same thing. The problem is complacency and laziness. I am older then this driver and drive every day. I've been driving in Japan for almost twenty years and have never had an accident. In fact, I am coming up to the renewal date of my third consecutive gold licence. The Japanese police are very relaxed in their approach to traffic offenses, which makes drivers relaxed in paying attention to the laws and other vehicles. These kinds of accidents are the result.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stove his head in.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

On numerous occasions I have witnessed drivers deliberately running between pedestrians with the right of way who were beginning to cross from both sides of a Tokyo street. The first time it happened I was in the crosswalk as a ton of high-powered white metal roared past.

After that I always looked to ensure that no vehicle was attempting to run the light before proceeding into the street. The few seconds gained by stepping out first are not worth my life or limb.

I find the "wrong pedal" defense suspect in most cases. I'm not saying it never happens, but.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It’s like “peddle” and “pedal”.

How is it possible to confuse them?

Because they are homonyms, with the same pronunciation, and do not trigger any spellcheck warnings. Additionally, one is hardly ever used in modern US English, so does not immediately trigger any mental warnings of improper usage.

That is unlike the accelerator and gas pedals, which have completely different shapes, different positions, feel different under the foot, and cause the vehicle to behave completely differently.

But, I do kind of get your point. And, would have made a similar remark if a poster confused "there" and "their".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a daily driver here in Tokyo, I'm going with looking at the Smartphone. I've had too many close calls riding my motorcycle with people texting. Even reported it to a koban at an intersection and he just talked to the lady for about a minute and when the light turned green, just sent her on her merry way. BTW, she was driving about 20k under the speed limit and crossing over lanes, almost hit me, oh and had a child in the front seat. Cop did nothing! So much for traffic safety! I guess he was doing traffic safety that day.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@gary

Sure. Didn’t want to come across as mean-spirited.

I just saw the opportunity for a cheap laugh, given your comments regarding unbelievable mistakes.

And I confess I’ve made the brake/accelerator mistake myself. I was eighteen, and incredibly lucky not to kill or injure anyone....

Put me off driving for life : )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese peope of all ages routinely engage in the behavior that it's easier to speed up to achieve your goal rather than to slow down. I've seen people on bicycles, on foot, driving vehicles - they act as if they can't slow down or stop in order to avoid hitting the other person. God forbid they had to go behind the person. They'll walk faster, pedal faster, or hit the gas to speed up and cut in front with just enough space to barely make it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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