Japan’s traffic death toll falls to record low in 2013

Kyodo

The number of people last year who died within 30 days of being involved in a traffic accident marked a record low of 5,152, down 1.6 percent from 2012, National Police Agency data showed Wednesday.

The 2013 traffic fatality figure was the lowest since officials started compiling comparable statistics in 1993, the NPA said.

Officials also compiled statistics on the number of people who died within 24 hours of an accident. This figure fell 0.9 percent in 2013 to 4,373, according to the agency.

Traffic deaths in both the 30-day and 24-hour categories decreased for the 13 year in a row.

Compared with other nations on the 30-day basis, the proportion of victims aged 65 or older was considerably high in Japan at 53.8 percent. The corresponding figure was 27.6 percent for Germany in 2012 and 16.7 percent for the United States in 2011.

The rate of traffic deaths within 30 days was 4.04 per 100,000 people in Japan in 2013, while the comparable rate was 10.78 in South Korea and 4.40 in Germany, both in 2012, and 10.39 in the United States in 2011.