The number of cars on Japanese roads passed the 19 million mark in 1970, signaling the country's emergence in an age of full-scale motorization. However, the dark side of that story was an unprecedented number of deaths due to traffic accidents, for despite the quality of a rapidly developing expressway system there were to date 16,765 such fatalities. It also was the year in which the accusations by American consumer advocate Ralph Nader regarding a lack of automotive safety became public knowledge in Japan.
It was necessary to put an immediate halt to the rising tide of traffic deaths. This was certainly the sentiment at Honda, which-with its awareness of public safety- believed such a goal would not be achieved through the manufacturing process alone, but through the added use of driver education.