Survey: Many Of Japan's Elderly Drive Cars

Survey: Many of Japan's elderly drive cars

A Japanese government survey shows a quarter of the country's population aged 80 or older drive cars.

This year's white paper on Japan's aging society has been released amid growing concerns over a series of serious traffic accidents involving elderly drivers.

The government asked 3,000 men and women aged over 60 across Japan last year about their means of transportation when they go out.

The survey shows 56.6 percent of the responders said they drive vehicles, followed by 56.4 percent who said they go out on foot. 22.4 percent said they use bicycles.

The survey also shows 78.8 percent of those aged between 60 and 64 drive, and the proportion gradually gets smaller as they get older.

But 26.4 percent, or about one in four, of those aged 80 or older said they still drive.

The report says that the government needs to consider how it can to ensure that elderly citizens have means of transportation other than vehicles, as their cognitive functions deteriorate as they get older.

It stresses the need to expand public transportation systems and build "compact" communities, such as one in the city of Toyama, with facilities in a concentrated area that can been reached on foot.