Japan Data

Drivers Over 75 Account for Record High 15% of Fatal Crashes in Japan


Traffic accident fatalities are falling in Japan; however, the percentage of fatal accidents involving elderly people is on the rise.

The National Police Agency data on fatal motorcycle and car accidents in 2018 shows that the number of cases where drivers over 75 years old were most at fault rose by 42 to 460. This was equivalent to 14.8% of the total, a new record high. With the population continuing to age, measures to prevent accidents caused by elderly drivers need to be strengthened further.

Included in the 460 fatal accidents were 94 collisions with structures such as telephone poles, 85 intersection collisions, and 70 head-on collisions.

Looking at the number of fatal accidents per 100,000 licensed drivers, 3.7 cases were mainly caused by drivers under the age of 75 (3.4 in 2017). In comparison, 8.2 cases (7.7 in 2017) were mainly caused by drivers over 75, and 11.1 (10.6 in 2017) by drivers over 80, indicating that the older the driver, the more likely an accident will occur.

The percentage of elderly people who were killed was also high. Although the total number of traffic accident fatalities decreased by 4.4% from the previous year to 3,532, the reduction for elderly people over 65 only fell by 2.7% and their percentage of the total rose from 54.7% to 55.7%. Of the fatalities, 1,711, approximately half, were either walking or on bicycles at the time and 70% of those people were over 65 years old.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

elderly traffic accident