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Five-car pileup in Tokyo caused by 80-year-old driver

31 Comments

Two men were taken to hospital on Wednesday after a car accident in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward that involved five cars in total and is thought to have been caused by a man in his 80s, police said.

According to police, the man in his 80s slammed his car into the vehicle in front of his at the Sotobori Avenue intersection near JR Iidabashi station at around 3.45 p.m. The impact sent the first car into the opposite lanes where it collided with three oncoming cars. Police said the man in his 80s and a man in his 50s were taken to hospital but both are in stable condition.

© News reports

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31 Comments
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Oji whizz, what a palaver.

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I think the government needs to come up with a law that bans people getting too old, for example, make it a criminal offence to go beyond 60.

(I'm just kidding!!)

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Time to start getting these folks off the road. There was an article on here that said retired folks caused something like 50% of accidents. Only going to get worse.

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I hear sometines that elderly people causes weird trafic accidents on opposite lanes.

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at least they made it to a hospital.

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Not just car accidents. Riding a bicycle or even walking, you must look in all and every direction before advancing b/c you never know who's coming towards you and it's usually old timers (sorry).

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i disagree with the posters here. old age driving is a good way to solve the pension crisis

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i disagree with the posters here. old age driving is a good way to solve the pension crisis

Absolutely! The government should start buying cars from Toyaota and the like, saving the big companies. They could then give them away to elderly people. By the end of the year, the government would have saved themselves trillions in pension money!!

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Yesterday, biking through Kawaguchi, I had an awful time moving forward. It seemed that every fifteen feet was some retiree who had decided to stop cold in the middle of everything to reflect on...whatever.

It wasn't even that crowded.

I understand that you lose speed and agility as you get older. I also understand that your alertness goes down. That's normal: you, I and everyone else will most likely do the same thing when we're old.

But what's with placing yourself in the middle of traffic at every opportunity? One would think that living a full life would instill some basic habits that would simply be muscle memory: i.e. stick to one side in two way traffic, don't take your half out of the middle...

Apologies for the long windup, but my point is: the government is going to have to do SOMEthing to deal with this. I'm a big fan of the government staying the hell out of everything, but if it does have a purpose, it would be to deal with things like this. It's bad enough that the country's going to get screwed financially, but (and I only wish this were an exaggeration,) it's going to get physically dangerous.

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I'm not scrubbed up on the Japanese driving license rules, but surely there must be a system in place where by seniors must take their test again after reaching a certain age to qualify that they can drive safely. My UK license for example is valid until I'm 70yrs old.

Having said that though, the divering old fools will no doubt plough into you on their bicycle whilst you walk down the road!!

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I'm going to get tired of seeing these kind of stories before very long. over 75, dont drive.

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I'll bet 100 bucks that the person in front of him had already started to turn whilst waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, which meant being hit from behind thrust him into the cars coming.

My driving teacher taught me never to pre-turn like that. Drivers in Japan seem to do it a lot.

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tmarie, under 25 year olds cause the majority of accidents that is why their insurance costs are so high. PuffinMuffin must be living in an old folks home as most of the idiots on bicycles are teenagers every where else in Japan. But I must agree older Japanese 30+ do expect you to give way to them when riding bicycles, including the times you are trying to reverse out of a drive way with no chance of seeing them. In a culture where respect is expected this is not unusual and if you can't stand the heat in the kitchen you can always leave.

Before knocking and stirring the pensioners you should remember they were the ones who provided all the money and built all the roads you are driving on. If they charged you for using them they would not need a pension. So instead of paying pensions money, governments should just charge all the young people who use the roads and other resources the oldies built a toll and give that money to the pensioners. The pensioners would all be millionairs then and could afford chauffers and would not need to drive their cars among impatient dickheads.

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Never thought of the pension... Have them all buy Japanese cars (at a discount of course), give them gas and let them go. Though could we give them certain driving hours so they'll let the young survive??

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Before knocking and stirring the pensioners you should remember they were the ones who provided all the money and built all the roads you are driving on. If they charged you for using them they would not need a pension.

1- The problem is safety. Are you suggesting that we should let them put us in danger out of respect?

2- This is Japan. Anything made of cement is torn up and replaced every six months or so. The roads they paid for haven't been in existence since the late 80s.

under 25 year olds cause the majority of accidents that is why their insurance costs are so high

For now. Look at birth statistics. Do you think that's going to hold?

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Before knocking and stirring the pensioners you should remember they were the ones who provided all the money and built all the roads you are driving on. If they charged you for using them they would not need a pension.

With this level of thinking, perhaps every nation in the world should prop up the European economy for the mountain of things that our grandfathers made to benefit our lives today. Perhaps we should take 10% of everyone's train ticket and give it to the UK for funding early locomotives, or 10% to the Germans for their ingenious idea of developing the modern car. Honestly, what a nonce!!!

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"under 25 year olds cause the majority of accidents that is why their insurance costs are so high"

This wasn't what was reported a few weeks back on here.

As for "paying for the roads" I highly doubt that. As someone else said, things are rebuilt all the time. The roads paid for by these folks only are decades gone. As it is, I pay for the roads via tolls and taxes...

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If was 80 years old, and could afford a car, I would rather get rid of it and use public transportation. That way I would save on maintenance costs, and would feel a sense of duty with less time for boredom. Besides, you can always meet some still young obasans in their 60s and 70s in the trains.

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The roads are not payed for, that is why the Japanese government has a massive debt that, yes the young people getting run over by 80 year olds will have to pay for during their working lives. If they can find a job nowadays.

Mandatory testing for anyone over 65 is needed to renew a drivers license. Soon in Japan that will be half the people of the road.

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solarbuster

PuffinMuffin must be living in an old folks home as most of the idiots on bicycles are teenagers every where else in Japan.

lol so I exaggerated a little but they terrorize me anyway, also for the fact that they might get injured themselves.

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Samurai - More so when many public transportation for free for these folks.

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Had a few close calls in Japan with older drivers. I am inclined to think that folks in their '80s should consider "hanging 'em up."

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I witnessed a traffic accident in Nagasaki where a very old guy (well over 75) did a sudden right turn and hit a car from the side just like kamikaze pilots, and then kept driving without a brake! Not only his vision, but also all his senses were numb! Soon the police came but ignored this fact and after helping the two sides exchange insurance data, simply left! No wonder if more accidents happen everyday!

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I witnessed a traffic accident in Nagasaki where a very old guy (well over 75) did a sudden right turn and hit a car from the side just like kamikaze pilots, and then kept driving without a brake! Not only his vision, but also all his senses were numb!

I seen an 18 year old girl do the same thing, she stopped because she ended up sitting on top of a high curb with 2 drive wheels off the ground still reving the engine. An old guy turned the engine off for her, her sense were also numb it is called shock. Some people get it other don't.

Another girl in her 20s came right through the red light opposite me laughing and talking on her mobile, she did not even notice that a car crossing hit her back end, she just kept going.

Problem is there are drivers of all ages who should not be driving because their co-ordination and reflexs are not good enough. Many people if they had to take their driving tests in manual cars would never pass. Age has little to do with it apart from discrimation, like the report about the 80 year old. If it had of been a 20 or 30 year old it would never have made the press, 100s in the 20 to 30 year group cause multiple accidents every year but you never hear about it. The guy who caused an 80 car pile up in England was obviously not over 60 as his age was never mentioned in the media. I personally think all drivers should have a medical which includes reaction time and co-ordination every year. After having worked in the aquired brain injuries area and seen how disruptive to life a road accident can be.

There is nothing to be gained safety wise by picking on older drivers when some at 80 are much more responsive and healthier than some people in their 20s. The medicals that most countries have introduced for older drivers recognise this and are very general. The media practices age discrimination to sell their products that is why they target very young and older drivers, you guys in the middle are simply not newsworthy as so many accidents happen every day in your age group.

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80?!

It's bad enough having oldies riding... Sorry, wobbling on their bicycles down the street everyday, let alone driving a killing machine - car.

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Florida I believe is making it law for 80 year and older to take a driving test each year. It sure is going to be a pleasure driving there if that law goes in effect, as 80% of the state is 80 and older, and most won't pass the driving exam. Florida's State Anthem ... The Siren. They should rquire by law here also for 80 + to take exams.

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wow, a while back I witnessed an accident at this very intersection between a car and motorbike (motorbike lost, no injuries). Also a turning accident. I agree with saborichan, people are not planning ahead. Sort of apropos these days

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To be fair, this is a problem in many countries - my ex-b/f ended up going over the bonnet of an elderly driver who failed to see him on his bicycle and therefore didn't stop at the junction. Fortunately, ex-b/f only sustained minor injuries, but it could have been much, much worse.

My driving teacher taught me never to pre-turn like that. Drivers in Japan seem to do it a lot.

The one time I had to renew my Japanese driving licence (the day after the Chuetsu Earthquake, as it happens), the lecture for renewing drivers contained a warning that one should not turn the wheels in anticipation of turning while waiting to turn, for precisely the reason you cited.

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I was taught to always keep the wheels straight when your making a right-hander so if you do get shunted you don't get shunted into oncoming traffic. However, I've noticed there are many right hand turn lanes in Japan that actually turn your car into oncoming traffic. A serious accident waiting to happen. This innocent guy that got shunted into the oncoming is lucky there wasn't one of those 10 tonne trucks coming the other way at 80kph. That's jam!

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Obscure trivia: This intersection is a nexus point connecting three different wards. From the article, the accident took place in Bunkyo-ku, but had the car on the left made it about three more meters (into the middle of the intersection), it would have been in Shinjuku, and had it happened just behind the ambulance, it would have been in Chiyoda.

This really is a terribly-designed intersection; the lanes are unclear, there's very little room for cyclists and pedestrians (separate traffic lights for them, on the Shinjuku side), and the whole thing is a mess. Maybe this accident will spur one of the three wards to redesign it. (Then again, they'll probably just argue about who has jurisdiction and who gets to grab funds from the city!)

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Personally, I've given up expecting rational design in intersections in Japan. ThonTaddeo rightly points out just such a happenstance.

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