Sep. 04, 2015

Toyota Gets Kids to Help Their Grandparents Stay Safe on the Road


Toyota City, Japan, September 4, 2015―Statistics published by the Japanese National Police Agency show that the elderly account for 71 percent of pedestrian traffic fatalities. The same statistics show that pedestrian fatalities―particular involving those aged over 65―peak during the late afternoon and early evening.

As societies around the world age, Toyota recognizes that safety and traffic awareness among the elderly is vital in making traffic environments safer. However, comprehensive traffic safety requires participation from all age groups, and awareness on the part of drivers and pedestrians alike.

Based on this understanding, Toyota's autumn safety campaign this year will target people of all ages, while maintaining a particular focus on reducing risks facing the elderly. The campaign will launch on Respect for the Aged Day (September 21), a Japanese national holiday, and Toyota will mark the occasion by holding a special family event in Yokohama.

At the event, children will be able to craft reflective key chains with personal hand-written messages as gifts for their grandparents. Hands-on educational exhibits will also let participants of all ages learn about the importance of wearing reflective materials, as well as how vision is impaired at night. Additionally, a special talk session with Erina Oda, a local celebrity, will explain more about reflective materials and their importance.

Traffic Accident Fatality Data (2014)

Pedestrians accounted for 36% (1,498) of the 4,113 traffic fatalities in Japan in 2014. The number of fatalities peaked in the twilight hours from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and these included a particularly high number of senior citizens.

  • Pedestrians account for 36% of traffic fatalities
    Pedestrians account for 36% of traffic fatalities
  • The elderly account for 71% of pedestrian fatalities
    The elderly account for 71% of pedestrian fatalities
  • Pedestrian fatalities are most common in the evening
    Pedestrian fatalities are most common in the evening
Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (Japan)
Wearing Reflective Materials

Depending on the surrounding environment and the pedestrian's clothing, the distance at which the driver can identify a pedestrian is approximately 26 meters if the pedestrian is wearing dark clothing and approximately 38 meters if they are wearing light clothing.

Driving at 60 km/h, a driver would take roughly 44 meters to stop after seeing a pedestrian. As a result, a driver in such a situation would be unable to stop before hitting a pedestrian wearing either dark or light clothing.

When wearing reflective materials, pedestrians can be identified from over 57 m away, which is likely to reduce the risk of being involved in a traffic accident. (Research by Japan's National Police Agency)

Wearing Reflective Materials
Japan Traffic Safety Association
About Toyota's Safety Campaigns

Toyota has held nationwide traffic safety campaigns in the spring and autumn of every year since 1969 to raise traffic awareness, with a particular focus on the children and the elderly. Explaining Toyota's approach to traffic safety, President Akio Toyoda said: "Toyota's ultimate goal is the elimination of traffic accidents and fatalities. As an automaker, our wish is for a society where traffic environments are safe for anyone of any age, whether driver or pedestrian. We will do all we can to spread this message of road safety."

Over the course of this year's autumn campaign, Toyota will distribute approximately 7,000 educational posters to dealers nationwide stressing the heightened risk for pedestrians in low-light situations, and advising pedestrians to wear reflective material. Posters will contain QR codes leading to a video on the effects of reflective materials, and will also double as tickets in a lottery to win reflective materials.

A total of 416 companies around Japan including vehicle dealers, forklift dealers, logistics systems companies, parts distributors, and vehicle rental/lease stores will participate in Toyota's campaign, which will run from September 21 to October 31.

Outline of Campaign Launch Event
Date September 21, 2015 (Respect for the Aged Day) 10:00-16:00
Venue Tressa Yokohama (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan)
  1. Craft workshops and safety seminar
  2. Road safety tool hands-on experience

    Reflective material effects, drunk driving simulation, field of vision experience, road safety danger prediction simulator, etc.

Participants Open to public (craft workshops limited to children of elementary school age or younger)
Host Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Automall Create, Tressa Yokohama Automall