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Three dead, one child severely injured in Nagoya head-on collision

36 Comments

A head-on collision between two cars on a road in Nagoya City on Sunday night killed two men and one child and left one young child with serious injuries, police said Monday.

The accident occurred just after 7 p.m. on a two-lane road that runs along the Yada River in Nagoya's Kita Ward. Police suspect one of the two cars crossed over the center line.

All four passengers of both cars were rushed to the hospital, but the two drivers, 44-year-old Masahiro Amano and 43-year-old Toshinari Inugai, plus Amano's oldest daughter, 13-year-old Yui, died as a result of the accident. Amano's 9-year-old son Ryo sustained serious injuries.

© News reports

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36 Comments
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I wonder how many of them were actually wearing seat belts

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Those riverside roads are a bit dicey. One the one hand, you have long stretches of road without traffic lights. You can bypass a lot of the traffic congestion in the city if you are trying to get to the other side of town or the next town without waiting in traffic for hours. On the other hand, they have no safety lane on the side, and very sharp shoulders that generally drop several meters. A lot of drivers want the convenience of the road, but are afraid of the big sharp drop to the side, and hog the center. Other drivers want to drive fast, and can't handle the curves. There is generally a lot of tailgating, overtaking on curves, and other dangerous behavior. Sadly it comes to tragedy sometimes.

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I wonder how many of them were actually wearing seat belts

my thoughts exactly,and how many were using a mobile phone and/or watching TV

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The road was sufficiently wide to have a centerline, although police suspect that one vehicle had crossed over into the oncoming lane. As Mookoo correctly pointed out, there is a steep drop on either side of the elevated roadway: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/ann/news/web/index_w3.html?now=20100315063612_56k

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So sad.

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"Police suspect one of the two cars crossed over the center line"

...do you expect the lanes moved...AH!

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Horrible. How awful for the women who have lost their husbands and a daughter.

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How jaded we are to these sad random scenes of carnage. I read recently that traffic deaths are declining? How nice it would be if they kept doing so.

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As a frequent driver myself, those smaller country roads are treacherous. Did you see the pictures? Seatbelts would not have saved anyone in the front seats. There are so many RUDE drivers and they make many risky choices. The comments about cell phones and TV are inappropriate, folks. Odds are this tragic accident was the fault of one risk-taker over-taking someone in a dangerous area. In my opinion, the main problem is the lack of policing as a general rule.

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I am trying to figure out where that road is. I drive and cycle the dyke road that runs along side quite often. As mookoo says you can avoid alot of traffic lights. BUT, the article says a two lane road which the dyke road is certainly not. But despite where it happened, this is very sad news

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My condolences to those whose lost their life and those who now have to deal with this grief...

75% chance that seat belts - lack of use thereof - is a complicating circumstance in these deaths...

I can not tell you how many times everyday I pull up at a light here in Japan behind some woman in a mini van with kids bouncing around unrestrained in the backseat like it was the moonwalk with the DVD player on the dash playing either a TV drama or a cartoon - just makes me shake my head and say a little prayer for tragedies just like this one...

About a month ago I almost got sideswiped taking my wife to work in our car when the girl next to us - watching morning NHK drama at 08:15 on her bypassed Navi - while putting on mascara with a cigarette in the same hand - misjudged her cigarette - smashed it into the headliner - sending burning embers all over her which sent her careening through 2 lanes of traffic - luckily saw it as it unfolded and managed to avoid her - - JUST...

The real crime would have been that if I was hit by her I would have likely been found 50% at fault from the get go and would have had to defend myself in the eyes of my insurance company...

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I wonder how many of them were actually wearing seat belts

It was a head on collision..maybe u shd wonder if the airbags engaged

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Hillside, although the report says police suspect one driver crossed the center line, in my experience they use the term center line to both mean the painted line, and also the center point of the road. On many riverside roads, there are places with a center line painted, and other places without. In either case, if a driver was over the center point of the road and caused an accident, the police report would indicate they crossed the center line. What I mean is it may or may not refer to an actual painted line.

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A tragedy, and my heart goes out to the survivors. It is worth noting though that the fact that this is headline-worthy just shows how rare serious traffic accidents are in Japan, and that while no-one enjoys news like this it is good to have a reminder of the consequences of dangerous driving.

Also, those of you who leapt to the assumption that the drivers or passengers did something wrong and therefore in some way "deserved" this should be ashamed of yourselves. It's already hard enough on those who survive without someone who knows nothing about the accident trying to apportion blame. How would you feel if you were a relative of those involved and read some of these comments? If you don't have something nice to say then keep it to yourself.

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lovejapan21 - I wonder how many of them were actually wearing seat belts

That was my first thought too. I drove up to Ibaraki yesterday and lost count of how many kids I saw bouncing around in the back of cars and hanging out the windows.

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"That was my first thought too. I drove up to Ibaraki yesterday and lost count of how many kids I saw bouncing around in the back of cars and hanging out the windows."

So, Disillusioned......while driving you pay more attention to the behavior of other drivers then your own?

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Seat belts would have saved everybody. Why can they not understand this?

I remember going to traffic school many years ago (to avoid a ding on my insurance)and they drilled it into us how much seat belts can help, even in the most horrific accidents.

Yea, they're inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as being dead.

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So roomtemperature......while driving you do not avert your eyes from the 10footX10 foot area directly in front of your car at any time? What a silly thing to say...

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I drive here and am amazed this sort of thing does not happen more often. Poor, unmaked tiny roads and drivers who are not the best..

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Seat belts would have saved everybody.

This is not true. While I fully agree that seatbelts are non-negotiable and save many lives, wearing one does not guarantee surviving a high speed accident for example, or one in which part of the car is crushed. There are huge forces involved in head-on collisions, and sometimes they are just not survivable, even with seatbelts. Also, we do not know for sure that the victims were not wearing their seatbelts, so comments like this are inappropriate.

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so sad and I have to wonder, as others do, if they were all wearing seat belts. Not saying this would have saved them all but if they were not then maybe accident investigators could suggest how many might have survived if they were.

In Hampshire, UK, last week the police were doing a crack down then giving offenders a choice of points and a fine or going to the fire station for education on why they need to wear seat belts - much more direct than the video on driving license application...

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Not much need for speculation about the size of the road. From the FNN report I reckon you can see exactly where the cars ended up: on Route 202 at the oblique T-junction in Yasuimachi, close to Yasui 3-4. On Google maps and streetview you can see quite clearly that there is plenty of space for two cars to pass and a yellow centre line. From what we can see of the aftermath in the news report, which of them crossed the line is anyone's guess.

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Sad story. I suppose the speculation cannot be avoided, but since the story has so few details, you can't be sure about anything.

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Aichu drivers are the worst drivers in Japan. They race around, don't stop for anything and will pass at all costs. I feel sorry for the families but something MUST be done about traffic safety in Japan - and more so in Aichi.

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Hoserfella, what I said is not silly at all. If a driver is able to lose count of the number of children he saw bouncing in the back of OTHER cars or hanging out of the window of OTHER cars then this driver is NOT paying attention himself.

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i agree with everyone, i haven't been in japan long but it makes me sick to my stomach seeing all of these people with no seatbelts on, it drives me even crazier seeing the parents wear seatbelts and not the kids. where i come from it is illegal not to wear one and it is enforced stongly, Japan needs to start enforcing seatbelt laws more.

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A head-on collision between two cars on a road in Nagoya City on Sunday night killed two men and one child and left one young child with serious injuries...

Police suspect one of the two cars crossed over the center line.

Gee, ya think?!? The only other possibility would be that BOTH cars PARTIALLY crossed over the center line at the same time.

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"A head-on collision between two cars"

Anyone know what "kind" of cars were involved ? Any Toyotas ? No- I'm not trying to stir things up or rub salt in any wounds. But I think the Japanese media goes out of its way to "not name names"- subsequently creating a false sense of security where concern should be given.

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This is on the heels of these asinine comments in the Asahi Shinbun, http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201002250455.html February 26th, by Hideo Kobayashi, a visiting professor at Yokohama National University's Center for Risk Management and Safety Sciences:

"Japanese people generally have high driving skills and similar physical features. But the United States, whose society was more or less built by immigrants, has people with various physical features and behavioral patterns. To get a driver’s license, you don’t need the sort of skills that are required in Japan."

Obviously, and far too often, these kinds of accidents prove that his theories are patently untrue.

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Branded - Unless the accident was caused by a defect in the vehicle and not a defect in a driver, the brand of cars doesn't matter one bit. Even seatbelts and airbags aren't going to save you if the head-on impact and deceleration are great enough. Your brain still gets violently slammed into the front of your cranium.

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aquaman at 12:42 PM JST - 15th March As a frequent driver myself, those smaller country roads are treacherous.

"(s)maller country roads . . ." It was Kita-ku in Nagoya. Nothing inaka about it. Maybe narrow, as are most Japanese roads. But it was hardly some icy mountain lane in Gifu.

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tmarie at 06:29 PM JST - 15th March Aichu (sic) drivers are the worst drivers in Japan. They race around, don't stop for anything and will pass at all costs. I feel sorry for the families but something MUST be done about traffic safety in Japan - and more so in Aichi

Was on the road quite a bit over the years in Tokyo-to, Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Mie, Kanagawa, Gifu and Aichi. Was "home" at shougatsu and while I can't say drivers in Aichi are any worse than in any other prefecture, I've seen a steady deterioration of general courtesy in Japan over the last 30 year, especially amongst wakamono, and was surprised at more red light running (just like in America!) that I don't remember from a decade ago.

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fadamor;

"Unless the accident was caused by a defect in the vehicle and not a defect in a driver, the brand of cars doesn't matter one bit."

Currently we don't know the cause- it could be defect related- we don't know. But in the past Japantoday has mentioned the kind of car involved, why not this time also ? Again- anybody have a make ?

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roomtemperature - Do u really think the poster was actually keeping count? Or do u think he meant "a lot"? In any case, if u cant take note of your surroundings while u drive, I suggest you don't walk and chew gum at the same time, either.

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I know and drive this road a lot - as long as you take it easy and WATCH where you are going there are no problems, problem is the in-experienced/idiot that think driving styles are uniform regardless of the road and weather conditions.

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marie at 06:29 PM JST - 15th March Aichu (sic) drivers are the worst drivers in Japan. They race around, don't stop for anything and will pass at all costs. I feel sorry for the families but something MUST be done about traffic safety in Japan - and more so in Aichi - Have you ever actually driven anywhere else ? Driving manner in other parts of the world is equally bad or worse, I also cycle a lot on the roads here - NO WAY would I want to cycle on the roads of my home country.

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