crime

Man in wheelchair dies after being hit by car driven by 80-year-old man

38 Comments

A 78-year-old man in a wheelchair died after he was hit by a car driven by an 80-year-old man in the parking lot of a hospital in Tokyo on Monday. The car also hit a man in his 70s, seriously injuring him.

According to police the driver has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death and injury.

The incident occurred in the parking lot of Yoyogi Hospital in Shibuya Ward at around 12 p.m., Fuji TV reported. Police said the elderly driver had come to visit someone at the hospital. As he was backing into a parking space, his car accelerated and hit the two victims, and then came to a halt against a nearby vending machine.

The man in the wheelchair suffered severe injuries to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other man remains in a coma.

Police quoted the driver s saying he can’t remember the accident. They believe he mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake as he was backing into the parking space.



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38 Comments
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There needs to be an age cut off for driving. It is so common for elderly drivers to mistakenly press accelerator instead of brakes or so they said. Happened in my neck of the woods not long ago as well.

No time for political correctness when lives are at stake.

9 ( +20 / -11 )

Why is this excuse often used?

Can it be used to reduce prison time?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

3 adult men,yet we can't get one name.And whenever it's a supposed youth,it's written he/she is a minor.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

It happened when he was backing into a packing space. This habit of backing into a parking space is taught at driving education to all student. I agree with the theory and I also back into a parking space or drive through if possible the space to the space in front so to drive out when leaving. Due to statistic over the years evidence show that more deaths occur when backing out of a parking space in Parking areas. Mostly children deaths who are below line of view when using the rearview mirror when backing out of a packing space. But this precaution did not apply to accidents by personal motor skills.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Two tests are required:

A competency test for drivers who show confusion at any age. (An 80-year-old can be more competent than a 50-year-old; not on average, though.)

Plus a reaction time. How fast a driver reacts in an emergency.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Nasty! Often retirees buy a car to do them the rest of their lives, which may prove too big for their needs and abilities, and might lack parking aids.

Not a comment on this case, but people here (most of whom will have car keys in their pockets) do have a frustrating habit of crossing nonchalantly behind reversing cars in car parks, blissfully forgetting how parking also involves checking the front wings/fenders of the car, and that cameras give vision of a tiny strip of asphalt.

What kind of road safety is taught to children?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There needs to be an age cut off for driving

ASAP !!..

2 ( +10 / -8 )

It's always the old person hitting the accelerator....

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Ban cars. How much longer is society going to put up with the carnage they cause, let alone their destruction of our planet? And if cars can't be banned, then yes, better driver education and training, mandatory ten-year re-tests, speed limiters on every vehicle. The car-is-king culture has to end. Cars are killing us.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

If this guy "can't remember the accident" then he doesn't have the cognitive ability to drive and shouldn't have been behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Police quoted the driver s saying he can’t remember the accident

Okay, all right. But in that case, there's reason to suspect he was under the influence of drugs or addictive substances. Or maybe he wasn't at all and just has a diagnosis.In both cases, I find that the driver is no longer fit to hold a driver's licence and be able to operate a motor vehicle at all.

I don't understand why in Japan, with such a high age composition of the population, there isn't a test once a year for people e.g. over 70 to determine eligibility to have a driving licence, as there is in many other countries. But there is still a prevailing view here that higher age equals higher experience ("But he's been driving for almost 60 years, so he knows more than if you've only been driving for 40 years."). However, there is an additional factor that is important for vehicles, and that is medical fitness and, above all, the ability to react and make decisions quickly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

gas, brake, brake, gas, eeny, meeny, miny, moe

2 ( +4 / -2 )

People may be car dependent in the middle of inaka, but this happened in Shibuya. There is public transport everywhere and no need to drive. The consequences of driver errors are far more likely to have tragic consequences in built-up areas.

In the city, you have shorter distances and more people exposed to pollution from cars. People should be encouraged to cycle or ride the train, not drive.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

We really need to impose restrictions on the driving age and consistent evaluation of driveability. There are many such unfortunate incidents in the recent past.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The road system in Japan allows for drivers to hold their licence in the older years. I assume this is the reason for lower speed limits in built up areas and areas known to carry a heavy traffic flow. In some built up areas the speed limit is 30 kph. This limit is imposed I assume due to the slower reaction times of the the large population of older drivers in Japan. You will never see a speed limit post faster than 50 kph unless it is a tollway. I also assume they accommodate these lower speed limit because it is a comfortable speed for the older driver and making the limit uncomfortable will deter the older driver and the older driver to use a different type of transport if available and placing a age ban will also cost local governments a fortune of providing in providing a micro transport system for the ageing. That is my assumption on the issue on older drivers in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The road system in Japan allows for drivers to hold their licence in the older years.

Other countrys allows old people drive and other countrys old people accidents too. This is not Japanese only problem.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OMG. It's really time to have a law for age limit. Before more unnecessary accidents line this happen

0 ( +3 / -3 )

OMG. It's really time to have a law for age limit. Before more unnecessary accidents line this happen

Yes, but it cuts both ways.

If an upper age limit is needed to prevent accidents caused by older drivers, one is also needed to prevent accidents caused by younger drivers.

Number of accidents per 100,000 driving-license holders, by age group;

16~19: 1075.4

20~24: 595.5

80~84: 440.9

over 85: 522.4

https://www.insweb.co.jp/car/kisochishiki/jidosha-jiko/nenrei-jikoritsu.html

If the over-80s are to have their vehicles taken way from them, the under-25s should also be kept well away from the steering wheel.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@cleo

This is the problem with statistics.

Its not just that younger drivers have more accidents, it’s that new, inexperienced drivers have more accidents. By banning under 25s from driving you’re just kicking the can down the road. Also, not to mention you’re crippling the mobility of the workforce in less urban regions.

Also, those are just total numbers of accidents. They don’t say what the nature of the accidents were. Each accident has a value of *1 in your statistic, but that’s false. A young person clipping someone’s bumper in a parking area isn’t the same value as an octogenarian plowing into a bus stop full of people.

In fact, your statistics only show that with age and experience people improve in driving in terms of safety, and then have a decline after retirement.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There needs to be an age cut off for driving.

I disagree. I think after a certain age, they need to be tested yearly (or every six months) for their driving ability (if it's not being done already).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They don’t say what the nature of the accidents were. Each accident has a value of *1 in your statistic, but that’s false. A young person clipping someone’s bumper in a parking area isn’t the same value as an octogenarian plowing into a bus stop full of people.

True enough. If you scroll down the link I gave, there's a graph showing fatal accidents per 100,000.

The 16~24 age group rack up 11.46; the 80~84 group, 6.48; the over-85s, 11.37.

I'm sure inexperience does play a part in it, but surely we also need to consider the general stupidity of teenagers (not knocking teenagers, I used to be one, and when I was, I knew everything!); their general sense of invulnerability, love of speed, recklessness and desire to show off.

Hold off on the driving license until the teenage zoomies are under control, and make sure new drivers of all ages get plenty of supervised experience before they're allowed out on their own. No more of these 'Get your license in just two weeks' crash (no pun intended) courses.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Like most problems, it is wrong to reach for a silver bullet solution. You cannot ban elderly from driving because it will devastate the countryside. You could however place restrictions on cars in the city, which would prevent all drivers, bad apples and otherwise, from causing accidents. You could limit elderly drivers in cities or everywhere to cars fitted with collision-sensing brakes, which may well have saved one and kept another out of a coma here. You can subsidize the development of such systems so they improve faster. You can provide free or heavily subsidized public transport to the elderly to encourage fewer of them to drive. All of these things will have an effect, which will collectively add up to something major.

Note that the police's concern is the number of fatal accidents caused by the elderly, not the simple number of accidents.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I live in the countryside. Public transport is almost non existent and it would take two buses to go to a nearest shop. An elderly person would find it extremely difficult to do their shopping without a car and the farmers are driving till they virtually got one foot in the grave. I have seen them in the driving center when renewing my licence, their step is 15cm and a smell that indicates they have done the number 2 in to the diaper as they are incontinent. And they still get their licence renewed. Why? Because with out it they can't look after their farm. Their children do not want to be farmers, it's too hard, they rather wear pointy shiny black shoes and work in an air conditioned office. I don't blame them actually, farmers life is hard!!! The best solution for all this would be self drive cars that are RELIABLE, which something that they are not at present.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Accidents can happen to anyone, no matter the age.

While many automatically blame the driver, it is also possible that the wheelchair person was in his blind spot and made the wrong assumption that he was visible.

At any rate, without a view of the scene of the tragedy it is not possible to determine fault.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Sorry to hear this news. As the population gets older, car safety systems need to evolve.

Subaru is one of the few companies to have Reverse Auto Breaking systems standard on their line up.

Seems there are a few back up deaths each year on JT, old people and often kids running behind cars.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I use a dash cam with a screen that fits over my rear view mirror and shows live video of a wide-angle rear-view camera positioned at the rear number plate. I drive a people carrier, which like everyone else has dark film on the rear window. The view from the camera is a huge improvement over looking through the car and through the back window, much clearer and much wider, and works even when the boot/trunk is full of stuff. The camera is mounted about 30cm below the back window, and combined with the door mirrors, there is a far smaller blind spot. Unlike the rear view and door mirrors, a small child standing directly behind the car would be visible on the camera.

The video mirror and front/rear cams was only 12000 yen and was easy enough to fit myself.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As he was backing into a parking space, his car accelerated and hit the two victims, and then came to a halt against a nearby vending machine.

The man in the wheelchair suffered severe injuries to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other man remains in a coma.

I can only imagine the carnage. The first responders must be traumatized. Very terrible. Old man should take a taxi. I am extremely careful around parking lots and near corners with so many drivers who can't distinguish the brake from the accelerator.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Number of accidents per 100,000 driving-license holders, by age group;

Typically the type of data to read carefully.

There's no information about the distance travelled. Considering elders travel much shorter distances, the ratio of accidents per kilometers travelled may not be in their favor ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Putting a vending machine in a car parking space where people are backing into is negligent. Sue the vending machine owner and car park owner. Stupid place to put a vending machine.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There needs to be an age cut off for driving.

you’ll change your tune when you’re elderly. Anyway, by then we will all have full self driving and zero deaths per year.

I had to deal with an elderly driver in a parking lot today. Part of his problem was that he was driving the boat-car favored by his generation. Three full minutes of watching him extract himself from his parking space. Grateful for the idle-stop feature on my car.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyway, by then we will all have full self driving and zero deaths per year.

Taxis!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The best solution is self driving cars that actually work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am 80 years of age and have given up driving in the interest of the safety of others I share the road with. I am a diabetic and have minimal feeling in my feet thanks to peripheral neuropathy and fear that could be a factor in an accident. Thanks to online ordering and Fedex and UPS deliveries life is still acceptable. I wish more of the elderly would do the same.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Several seniors in there 70 & 80's men and women are driving in my area NO PROBLEMS at all, it is unfortunate that this happened, accidents happen at all ages, NO DATA shows that seniors are more dangerous than others.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Until we full convert everyone to automated cars, this will keep happening. Of course we can make testing more strict, increase testing for the very old/young, but human error is always going to be a leading cause of death and injury with driving. Sure, computer error can happen too but I trust automation far more than people.

Technologically, we are more or less there already, we just haven't got past all the lobbies and legal red tape to make it a reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 NO DATA shows that seniors are more dangerous than others.

The Japanese police have data that shows elderly are responsible for a disproportionate amount of fatal accidents. Before someone says it, it's probably raw/isolated data which does not account for relevant things like km driven. However, it's the data they have and why this conversation keeps coming up. I don't like the Japanese police, but if they are focusing on fatal accidents and not people damaging cars on utility poles, that makes a lot of sense to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Robert CikkiAug. 18 10:21 am JST

I don't understand why in Japan, with such a high age composition of the population, there isn't a test once a year for people e.g. over 70 to determine eligibility

https://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/menkyo/koshu/koshu/under74.html

https://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/menkyo/koshu/koshu/over75.html

There is, at least in Tokyo, when you are 70+ and renew your driving licence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think, Japan needs something like a 'senior driving licence'.

In many rural areas and on smaller islands in Japan there is very little public transport. There is however no need for retired people to drive large vehicles, They need only a small car/truck/motorcycle to go for shopping or visiting medical facilities etc. to the nearest located city and they often enjoy some farming or other hobbies. Many elderly people in rural Japan are very fit despite their high age.

Not sure about the conditions how to restrict those elderly people, maybe starting with age 70+ or 75+?

A 'senior driving licence' should be good for a 660cc automatic Kei-Car and a 50cc scooter.

What other driving permit do you need to get around after your retirement in case there is no public transport near your home?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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