national

1 dead, 3 injured after light car collides with bus in Chiba Pref

47 Comments

One person was killed and three others injured after a light car collided head-on with a bus in Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 7 a.m. Fuji TV reported that the male driver of the car, was thrown out of his vehicle onto the road by the impact. He was declared dead at the scene. The bus driver and two passengers suffered light injuries to their arms and legs.

Police said the accident occurred on a curve while it was raining and are trying to determine which vehicle strayed over the center line.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments
Login to comment

RIP

Used to drive out there on the weekend, using work truck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

now you can see how a K-car can protect you.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

What were the ages of the drivers?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

No seatbelt = deadman

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Never buy k cars. Jonathan, your seatbelt comment is very tasteless, given that seatbelt or not, the driver in this car is just as dead. Seatbelts only save you when the car's structure is still relatively intact..

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Jonathan Prin - No seatbelt = deadman

Plus, K-car = very deadman.

if you have an accident in a K-car, especially with a heavier vehicle, you and your passengers are dead. That’s all there is to it.

K-cars are extremely dangerous to drive. They are very light and bounce all over the road. They have tiny tires that give very poor grip. They are horrid to drive in windy conditions and get blown all over the road. Driving them at over 80kph is just gambling with your life. These cars are only registrable in Japan. No other countries will allow such dangerous cars in their roads.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Dont think it really matter what kind of car he was driving having head on with a bus will never work out well poor guy RIP...

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Do the hustleToday 04:53 pm JST

These cars are only registrable in Japan. No other countries will allow such dangerous cars in their roads.

Complete and utter rubbish, K cars can be registered & driven in a number of other countries FACT !

The damage reflects fairly decent speed involved too, K cars do not offer the same level of protection as some heavier vehicles for sure but speed and the sudden stop at the end does kill.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Another day, another devastating kei car accident. Why people continue to put themselves and their loved ones in keis when there are so many high-quality, well-maintained, reasonably-priced "regular" used cars in this country is beyond me.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

In this case, if it were a heavier vehicle, there would have been a bigger danger to the bus passengers. Force at impact is a combination of speed and mass. Overall, is it not generally safer if there is a bigger proportion of lighter and slower vehicles on the road?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The heavier car is the safer car, it's simple physics.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

People buy these types of cars for size ie parking space and fuel economy . Compromise on safety but speed will kill when treated without respect.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The heavier car is the safer car, it's simple physics.

No, it isn’t. The construction of the car also plays a role.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

MSR Japan - Complete and utter rubbish, K cars can be registered & driven in a number of other countries FACT

Yeah, third world countries. There are no ‘modern’ countries that will accept these death traps. This is because they have zero side protection nor front and rear crumple zones. Quite a few of the newer models have the rear seats within 30cm of the rear of the car. I can’t believe people put their kids in them.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

K-cars are not safe, but then again in a head-on collision with a bus, I dont think many cars are.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I notice that the main heading says "light car" rather than a K car, either way these death traps should not be on the road, this is why I have got a Volvo, its nicknamed "the tank" by my friend for a good reason. either way its another sad day for some family

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yeah, third world countries. There are no ‘modern’ countries that will accept these death traps. 

Huh, never knew that Australia, US, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia and many more are all third world countries. Here I was thinking they were at least second world.

You learn something new everyday.

Do the hustle, I suggest using google. Its amazing and lets you search things!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

People who are saying bigger is better just clearly do not know how physics work. Yeah, the kei is inherently more dangerous than say a hummer, but in either situation youd likely be dead or severly injured even with a volvo. I see the worlds science curriculum is letting people down again...quite sad really.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The heavier car is the safer car

Certainly not safer to pedestrians.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The heavier car is the safer car, it's simple physics.

Do you have an equation to back that up?

Physics can get pretty complex sometimes.

gary

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Speed plus mass plus wet road plus inability plus inattention result is in above photo.

K cars are used in many first world countries too and bad driving is there too.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Reliant Robyn although no longer manufactured is still apparently street legal in Britain. It makes a Japanese K-car look like a tank. Three wheeled, fiber-glass body.

When I was in Britain in November-December I saw a couple of cars on the street that looked like grown up versions of pedal cars for kids.

The Renault Twizy which is sort of a futuristic golf cart is street legal in the UK although I doubt they are allowed on motorways.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That is the danger with these light cars. There is nothing protecting you against head on collision, not seat belts for sure. Dangerous.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

surprised anyone survived at all by the looks of the photo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ebisen

Of course I follow your idea that K-cars are mobile coffins. I was just lazy to add that.

I outlined the fact that the guy wanted to die because with no seatbelt, even at 50km/h crashing on a simple wall and you are just as dead, and it is a voluntray choice to fasten it or not (and illegal even in Japan not to fasten...).

About why there are k-cars : low price because fiscal differenciation of engine class, leading to low fuel consumption. Japan government's responsibility. Another Japanese bashing alas. Sorry.

And yes heavier car is more safety, other things being equal.

If one had studied physics, ond should know that there is conservation of momentum within a defined system (here the two cars). Mechanical energy from heavier vehicle transforms eventually into speed for the smaller one. Hence more violent impact, especially if a thrid body is separated from the initial 2 mass body.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The heavier car is the safer car, it's simple physics.

No, it's not. Some smaller cars, the Polo and Golf of Volkswagen regularly score high in crush tests. A larger car is easier to design crush proof because there is more space for energy absorbing arrangements. But weight is much less of a consideration.

https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/safety-regulatory-devices/crumple-zone.htm

You may also check out crush test videos on YouTube.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wonder what was the age of the driver of the light car.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lighter vehicles need to be tested before being placed on the road in Japan . . . pass a vehicle crash test, create better stiffness within the body and frame, employ air bags etc., see also

https://www.iihs.org/ratings

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The photo is AFTER the emergency services have cut the occupants out. Though it is very badly damaged.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do the hustleToday 05:43 pm JST

MSR Japan - Complete and utter rubbish, K cars can be registered & driven in a number of other countries FACT

Yeah, third world countries

Sorry But hardly correct, these are being exported to the USA hardly a third world country 25 year old ones too I might add, Australia and some other countries have them as well, hardly third. Please state facts not some made up stuff !

I see some one earlier posted a list of countries they are also sold in, third world hmmm , lots of misinformation out there perhaps you have been misled with that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sorry But hardly correct, these are being exported to the USA hardly a third world country 25 year old ones too I might add, Australia and some other countries have them as well, hardly third. Please state facts not some made up stuff !

If they are being imported to the US, I had never seen one on the street in my decades of driving and travel there. No wonder, as I could not picture them passing most states' inspection procedures. Perhaps they are being used in non-public or restricted capacities?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kei's may be fine for local roads - shopping, picking the spouse up at the station, misc. errands and such. But, they do not belong on expressways or any high-speed thoroughfares.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are many countries which have small light vehicles with very little metal in front of you, especially with the rear engines. For instance, the Fiat 500, there are millions of them in Italy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have never seen a kei car in the US (driving for 40 years). I have heard of them on occasion and seen photos on the internet. It is apparently okay If an individual wants to bring one over, but the car must be at least 25 years old. I have seen the kei trucks in use in parks and on off street conditions. But, on an industrial scale, these cars have not passed any standard federal tests to be allowed as an import to the US when they are new. So, kei cars are not imported to the US other than as a collectible by individual owners.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@garypen

If they are being imported to the US, I had never seen one on the street in my decades of driving and travel there. No wonder, as I could not picture them passing most states' inspection procedures. Perhaps they are being used in non-public or restricted capacities?

> Kei's may be fine for local roads - shopping, picking the spouse up at the station, misc. errands and such. But, they do not belong on expressways or any high-speed thoroughfares.

Good posts. I was just going to ask if there are any crash tests done to these vehicles.

What are the standards?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@MSR Japan

Complete and utter rubbish, K cars can be registered & driven in a number of other countries FACT !

Almost all third world countries with no auto regulations.

@Brian Wheway

I notice that the main heading says "light car" rather than a K car, 

Most outsiders don't know what a kei car is, so the article was written to help non-Japanese audiences.

@Ksteer

Huh, never knew that Australia, US, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia and many more are all third world countries.

New Kei cars are banned in Australia, US, and Canada. 

In the US, you can import Japanese Kei cars 25 years later as historical collectable cars, but only individually case by case.

The only Kei car that you can buy in the US as new are Korean ones(Korean kei car has exactly same crash standard as regular cars, hence they pass US and EU auto crash tests) or Smart.

@garypen

If they are being imported to the US, I had never seen one on the street in my decades of driving and travel there

Any car can be imported when they are 25 years or older. However, there is no demand for kei cars even among auto collectors in the US. Kei cars aren't like the R34 GT-Rs or Toyota Century.

@Mayunia82

if there are any crash tests done to these vehicles.

There is a kei car crash test standard in Japan, but it's different from the regular car crash test standard.

Only other country with an explicit kei car standard is Korea, but Korea doesn't have a separate kei car crash standard; they have only one crash standard and Korean kei cars are subject to same crash test as any other car.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

We get it Samit, you're Korean. Hyundai this and Kia that. We get it.

Anyway, what's with everyone hating on Kei cars? They're literally meant for the city, for small distances. People know what they get into when they buy one. They're not the best at anything, really, but do you expect them to be at their price point?

And for those saying that "no other -first world developed- country allows these", allow me to introduce to you, the Smart car! Been available in Europe for close to 2 decades now.

R.I.P. to the poor soul, and I wish for a swift recovery for the injured.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

While everyone is arguing about the safety of kei cars you might want to consider that the driver was apparently not wearing a seatbelt, was probably speeding, and collided head on with a BUS.

I don't care what you're driving, if you collide head on with a bus at any kind of decent speed, your odds of walking away unharmed are not good.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Tawkeeo

They're literally meant for the city, for small distances.

Korean and European city cars prove that they need not be death traps.

People know what they get into when they buy one.

Japan can apply exactly same crash standard on kei cars as regular cars to protect occupants better. Just because one drives a Kei car doesn't mean one's life is cheaper.

allow me to introduce to you, the Smart car!

Smart cars pass all US and European crash tests. Japanese kei cars do not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"K cars can be registered & driven in a number of other countries FACT"

But the point, I believe, is that the only way these hokey little vehicles can get into a developed country is through very low-volume independent imports, not through any established marketing system that would require strict certification.

 They're literally meant for the city,

They were originally meant to serve as cheap subsidized transportation for farmers in the postwar era. They have no technical reason to exist today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s a conundrum for me. My wife wants a small car, no way it will be a K, but are the non K small cars any safer? If going by weight, there is not a big difference between a Demio and a VW Polo. My in-laws came over last weekend in one of those Suzuki Hustlers. Big and boxy. I opened the door and there was no serious protection that I could tell. Ill take my 20 year old reinforced HRV over any small car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"But, they (kei jidousha) do not belong on expressways or any high-speed thoroughfares."

This accident occurred on National Rt. 126 in Misakicho, a suburb of Choshi City. It is a narrow, 2-lane road with a speed limit of 40 kilometers per hour. There were NO high-speed thoroughfares involved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's not forget the part played by the Japanese car manufacturers. All of them can produce cars which meet higher safety standards. So, collectively they have some responsibility for perpetuating the Kei car market. You don't see European or American manufacturers, for example, tarnishing their image by building to a lower standard. They are proud that their entire range meets or exceeds the higher standards.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's not forget the part played by the Japanese car manufacturers.

Not so sure about that. The government set the tax laws(maybe lots of brown bags involved) so the car companies just adjusted their product, and the demand was high. IMO, the government is to blame for the K car death traps.

Invalid CSRF

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those thinking “I miss the big old cars of my childhood”, those tanks would protect me. I encourage you to search YouTube for “Bel- Air versus Malibu crash test” Modern cars are much better designed to handle impacts.

....you might want to consider that the driver was apparently not wearing a seatbelt, was probably speeding, and collided head on with a BUS. 

I don't care what you're driving, if you collide head on with a bus at any kind of decent speed, your odds of walking away unharmed are not good.

spot on. paradox.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Fizzbit

Not so sure about that.....

Well that's a fair discussion point. Shame on the J government for facilitating a lax standard. But the car companies are saying "here's a low standard, we can make money and we're not doing anything wrong" -so it depends whether their corporate standards are about safety above money,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

... No government forced Volvo to invent the seatbelt, and it sure cost a bit more money to fit early Volvos with seatbelts. But their standards were about making a safer car.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites