Cognitive Problems Behind Fatal Car Accidents

Cognitive problems behind fatal car accidents

Japanese police say nearly half of the drivers aged 75 or older who caused fatal traffic accidents last year are suspected of having dementia or diminished cognitive abilities.

The National Police Agency says 414 of 460 drivers in this age group who caused fatal accidents in 2018 took cognitive ability tests. 20 of them were suspected of having dementia, with 184 suspected of having experienced a decline in cognitive ability. They account for 49 percent of the test-takers.

Agency officials say lower cognitive functions may be responsible for fatal accidents. The agency will step up measures to deal with elderly drivers by encouraging them to voluntarily give up their driver's licenses.