The wreck of a light car, in which a mother and her daughter were killed, is seen in the foreground after a fatal accident in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, on Tuesday. Photo: YOUTUBE
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Mother, 6-year-old daughter killed in car crash

51 Comments

A 25-year-old woman and her six-year-old daughter were killed in a car crash in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, on Tuesday morning. 

According to police, the accident occurred at an intersection on National Route 36 at around 8 a.m. A light car turning right was hit by a car going straight ahead through the intersection, Fuji TV reported. The driver of the light car, Fumika Seishita, and her daughter Yuzuki suffered severe injuries. They were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead. Seishita’s four-year-old son, who was also in the car, sustained serious injuries but his condition is not life-threatening, police said. 

The 28-year-old man driving the other vehicle was also taken to hospital for injuries and is in a stable condition.

There are traffic lights at the intersection and police are trying to determine how the accident occurred.

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51 Comments
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K-Car, the death trap of the east... Would they be produced in other countries, Japan would have never allowed their import. But they're produced locally, and the Japanese auto lobby is very strong, and pays a lot of bribe money to the politicians...

3 ( +16 / -13 )

Seat belts?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@ebisen

You know that even with those so called "death traps" you whined about, Japan is still one of the safest countries to drive in. The USA with all it's "huge" cars has over twice the fatalities per capita as that of Japan...

Try again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

7 ( +16 / -9 )

@ Martin Blank

"Japan is still one of the safest countries to drive in. The USA with all it's "huge" cars has over twice the fatalities per capita as that of Japan..."

-- this is calculated in terms of accidents per capita, and in the USA many more people rely on cars and drive much more than in Japan, so that skews the numbers a bit.

Still, I'd rather drive a car in Japan than in the USA.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

That was very tragic and my heart and prayers goes to the family, especially that survivor. Yes, Vince, I also wonder about them wearing seat belts. I know Japan doesn't require seat belts in the back seats, except for infants and small children, however, I always make my family wear them. I had to come to a sudden stop once because the guy in front came to one, and my youngest almost flew from her seat to the front. The reason she didn't was because I extended my left arm across to the passenger side, thus allowing my daughter to hit my arm and back to her seat.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unless the 28-year old was speeding then the woman turning left is at fault, since the former was going straight through. It's possible they were both trying to race the light.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

.......then the woman turning left is at fault,.......

Right.

A light car turning right was hit by a car going straight ahead.........

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well having driven in Japan the last 10 years, it would not surprise me at all if one of them was speeding up to make it through a red light. I have never seen a cop go after a red light runner here, but they certainly give hell to the guys on mopeds and scooters.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

ebisen  03:51 pm JST

K-Car, the death trap of the east... Would they be produced in other countries, Japan would have never allowed their import. But they're produced locally, and the Japanese auto lobby is very strong, and pays a lot of bribe money to the politicians...

Nope. Consumers demand them, but the auto makers would love to see kei cars go away. Low margins, separate R&D and production lines, no global potential to recover costs. Agree that they're death traps, but the bribe cliche is lazy and incorrect here.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Martin Black, let me explain it so that you also understand:

Japan is still one of the safest countries to drive in.

Yeah, but only because the average speeds are very low (less than half), and only because if you don't die within 24 hours from your accident, you don't count...

Your argument has nothing to do with the K-Car safety. They probability of a kcar killing or injuring its passengers in case of a serious accident, at faster speeds is really high, especially when they crash agains a real car, weighting two times more. It's simple physics... Japan allowing the commercialization of these death-traps is the same as JT being government-owned: they make a lot of money from taxes and bribes..

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

martin blank - yes your raw stats on road detahs are correct.

But as has been mentioned on this forum many times before - the most critical statistic re road fatalities is the number per km travelled. Some countries citizens travel far further in a year than others, often in much more adverse conditions.

A glimpse at a few of the top OECD countries re deaths per billion kms travelled.

UK - 3.5 deaths / 1,000,000,000 kms

Aust - 4.7 "

Can. - 5.1 "

Japan - 6.2 "

USA - 6.7 "

So there is not so much variation between US & Japan.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

RIP Mum and little one.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Looking at that wreckage, I doubt seat belts would have made a difference. It's amazing the 4-year-old boy survived, though.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Is the other car a Type R Civic? That's a pretty big spoiler on whatever it is. You can see the impact on that car too.

Just about kei cars, but a lot of the top sellers are the more expensive bling bling trendy ones. Like the N Box, the Tanto Custom, etc. I don't think you can make a strong case for them bought out of economic necessity when the top sellers are not the cheapest ones. In Hokkaido everyone will have 4WD, and a 4WD kei turbo will be comfortably over 1.5 million yen new. Add a sat nav, and snow tire setup and many will be over 2 million.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have crashed one kei car in my life where I rolled on to the car in front of me. The damage from the roll was quite severe the hood wrinkled. It was hard to tell it’s just from a roll. So yes, these kei cars are like tin cans with engine. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Report if they were wearing seat belts!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am driving for more than 10 years in Japan with my Kei car (10 yrs old car lol). this accident looks like the 28 year old man was pushing his right as priority.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Unless the 28-year old was speeding then the woman turning left is at fault, since the former was going straight through. It's possible they were both trying to race the light.

Easy now, if the light car was turning right on a right turn signal then the car going straight is in the wrong for failure to stop.

How about we not jump to conclusions and let the police carry out the investigation.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

So sad. :(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't ever buy a K-car. I had one for six months and got rid of it. Yeah, the shakken (registration) is cheap, as are insurance and road tax. however, what price would you put on your life? They are like driving an aluminium can. They have no crumple zones or side impact stability. It doesn't matter whose fault the accident is. If you have an accident in one it will fold up around you. It's interesting to see the comparative per kilometer statistics above. However, I'd like to know what percentage of road deaths in Japan involve K-cars.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Ishiwara

"this is calculated in terms of accidents per capita, and in the USA many more people rely on cars and drive much more than in Japan, so that skews the numbers a bit."

Um, per capita removes data skewing as it's a value generated regardless of population size.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ebisen

Ebisen, let me explain it so that you also understand:

"at faster speeds is really high, especially when they crash agains a real car,"

So then by your logic the road deaths in the USA should be lower as they are all "real cars"...yet it's not...by a long shot.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@browny1

I'm not sure I get your point as you are agreeing with me. Even with those "death traps" and comparable KMs travels, the USA death rate is over 2x higher....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They probability of a kcar killing or injuring its passengers in case of a serious accident, at faster speeds is really high, especially when they crash agains a real car, weighting two times more. It's simple physics

That might explain the idea of "death trap" in the sense of danger to passengers. But simple physics tells us the biggest danger on the roads is a combination of mass and speed. By that measure, kei cars present a smaller danger than faster and heavier vehicles. If we want to minimize the danger to our passengers, we should drive tanks. If we want to make the roads safer, wouldn't it be better if we all drove kei cars?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is possible to design Kei cars that can pass regular auto crash test. Koreans have proven it with their Kei cars legally sold in the US and EU.

So blame Japanese government for allowing unsafe Kei cars on the road.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is possible to design Kei cars that can pass regular auto crash test. Koreans have proven it with their Kei cars legally sold in the US and EU.

So blame Japanese government for allowing unsafe Kei cars on the road.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is possible to design Kei cars that can pass regular auto crash test. Koreans have proven it with their Kei cars legally sold in the US and EU.

So blame Japanese government for allowing unsafe Kei cars on the road.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is possible to design Kei cars that can pass regular auto crash test. Koreans have proven it with their Kei cars legally sold in the US and EU.

Which Korean K-cars? Name one..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Samit Basu

"So blame Japanese government for allowing unsafe Kei cars on the road."

What are you babbling about? SK have more fatalities than Japan so....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Man this is sad terrible news. RIP young mom and kid.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Really really awful news. A young mother just starting out in life and her 6 year old daughter. My heart especially goes out to the son who at the tender age of 4 lost his mum and his big sis. My thoughts and prayers to the family.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Netgrump

Which Korean K-cars? Name one

Chevrolet Spark(Sold at a US Chevrolet dealer near you) https://www.chevrolet.com/cars/spark-subcompact-car

Kia Picanto(Sold at Kia dealers across Europe) https://www.kia.com/uk/new-cars/picanto/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Habitual running of red lights comes to mind.   It is so prevalent that people do it without even thinking.  Can't count how many times I've had to slam on the brakes to avoid this.  Until there is a crack down on such violations by the J-police, tragic accidents like this will keep on happening.

RIP

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Samit Basu

Both your examples are NOT Kei-class cars...try again....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

martin blank - thanks for your reply.

I don't think you clearly read my post.

Considered one of if not the most relevant stats re road fatalities is deaths per kms.

On that note there is a slight difference only, between Japan & US - 6.2 deaths/billion to 6.7 respectivelyThat is not 2x higher.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@browny1

Correct that was my error.

But the point is still the same; even when using your stat, you would think with over 1/3rd of all cars being of the Kei class (apx), the fatalities would be a lot higher than in the USA and their big/safe vehicles. But they are not which is contrary to the OP I was replying to...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Martin Blank

Both your examples are NOT Kei-class cars...try again....

They are Kei cars under the Korean law.

In exchange for 200 mm in length and 120 mm in width, Korean government demands full compliance with regular passenger car safety; there is no separate Kei car crash standard in Korea.

This is the better way to go, same space saving form factor, but built with same high-strength steel and six airbags to comply with regular car crash standard.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Samit Basu

Kei-class is Japanese and everyone knows that..you are talking about the next size-up with larger engines and heavier frames NOT what this whole story is about...

Way to move the goalposts...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I believe the Spark is classes as a sub-compact as it's size and engine(1L and up) clearly parks in there. Kei, being 660cc max clearly are NOT the same animal. Between Kei and Sub-Compacts you also have micros too I believe.

Your claim is for another class and not for the real class of Kei cars.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

RIP young lady and daughter. Very sad and probably would have happened no matter what class car they were riding in (side hit with high speed).

Thus speaking I am long years K-car owner and always have in back of my mind that it is going to suffer bigger damage if I have accident. The cars I have owned have evolved and it is amazing how well the space and everything else is thought out. There is more space for the legs at the back sits than many normal sized cars. Perfectly comfortable ride and stability. Speed-wise they are weaker but even at highways in Japan you don't need more than 120kmph so K-cars ticks all the boxes for town and occasional long trip.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@bogva

Had one there for 2 years with zero problems...never took it on a 'high-speed' highway mind you and would not recommend it. Long times were no problem though...fun little thing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

martinblank - thanks.

you said in response :

   "....But the point is still the same; even when using your stat, you would think with over 1/3rd of all cars being of the Kei class (apx), the fatalities would be a lot higher than in the USA and their big/safe vehicles. But they are not which is contrary to the OP I was replying to..."

It's an interesting point, but the dynamics of traffic science are far more complex than just big vs small cars.

There are a myriad of factors in addition to kms travelled, include prevalent weather conditions, road conditions, speed limits / zones, driver education / skill, police surveillance, ignorance, arrogance etc etc. Of course at any one accident scene, any number of combinations of these factors may be present.

One fact is - in Japan most accidents occur within proximity of or not so far away from the drivers homes and most occur at lower end speeds.

The terrible accidents on major roads / highways often attract the medias attention - esp because of the severity - but they are much rarer (but not rare) than the public is lead to believe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The road is straight and flat with no obstructions. Somebody made a mistake. Running a red light? Distracted by the kids?

Very little doubt all would have survived if she was driving a big 4WD Prado. And for what, to save some money? Finger points to the Japanese government for their stupid weight tax and inspection laws.

Yeah, drive a big heavy well reinforced car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Which Korean K-cars? Name one

Chevrolet Spark(Sold at a US Chevrolet dealer near you) https://www.chevrolet.com/cars/spark-subcompact-car

Kia Picanto(Sold at Kia dealers across Europe)  https://www.kia.com/uk/new-cars/picanto/

See response Martin Blank.

The smallest car on the European market was the Daihatsu Cuore which you could consider a Kei car with a length under 340 cm. Daihatsu left the European market and thus not for sale.

The Chevrolet Spark you mentioned is 364 cm long. I don't have a US Chevrolet dealer near me, not even a EU Chevrolet dealer :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Considered one of if not the most relevant stats re road fatalities is deaths per kms.

On that note there is a slight difference only, between Japan & US - 6.2 deaths/billion to 6.7 respectivelyThat is not 2x higher.

The OECD fatalities per 1 billion kms is the best comparison between nations. Update 2017 Japan 6.7 versus the US 7.0 fat. per billion kms.

But there are other issues at stake. When you see that most Western EU countries score under 5.0 fat. per billion kms there are 2 exception namely France [5.9] and Belgium [7.3].

The legislation and behaviour in France became way better compared to say 2 decades ago but in Belgium it remains high. The issue: alcohol.

Belgiums drive a lot of premium cars but crumple zones of any car are useless when you drive with 140 km / hour against a concrete pilar or a fat tree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No K cars for reckless. At best in a minor fender bender you will have permanent knee damage and whiplash. I will pay more for gas and just drive less. Once I have some real cash I will drive a used Volvo with more crumple zones than you can count.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once I have some real cash I will drive a used Volvo with more crumple zones than you can count.

No too old..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@browny1

"...traffic science are far more complex than just big vs small cars."

I think we're actually in total agreement as this is the point I was trying to make that blanket statements such as "Kei's are deathtraps" is just pure hyperbole and easily disproven with facts.

"in Japan most accidents occur within proximity of or not so far away from the drivers homes"

Also true in North America..I believe it's within 2km on average.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is a lot of comments about the K cars, personals I hate them, they are small cramped and have little room is some one run into the side of you. I would love one of these cars to be shipped to the UK where a local research lab called Mira test loads of cars for safety, they get pulled into a large concrete block to see what happens at various speeds ( filmed in slowmo) side impact tests, hill starts etc, As far as I am aware all cars in Europe have to comply to have an NCAP safety figure, some cars are pretty low rating, but where the K car would come, I don't think it would be allowed to be sold in Europe, https://www.euroncap.com/en/results/daewoo/matiz/15512

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seat belts and indicators are 2 things MOST Japanese people don't use. People here don't realize the importance of both when used. Instead of the police hiding in the bushes looking to give out tickets for crossing a yellow line on the road, I think they should be spending more time and giving out increased fines to drivers without seat belts and having kids roaming freely in the car without seat belts or child seats. Crack down on that! This would save so many lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would tend to think it is probably part of a disturbing trend that I see a lot in Japan now, many people do not care to stop for traffic signals when they should, I don't understand why but i see it dozens of times a day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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