New Year’s Eve was the third day of the yearly Seven Dangerous Days, where the Thai Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation tracks traffic accidents and deaths, as holiday travel create a sharp increase in traffic incidents. And yesterday saw 555 traffic accidents that resulted in 535 injuries and 65 road deaths.
The Road Accidents Prevention and Reduction Centre reported a total of 1,339 accidents with 1,322 injured people and 153 deaths in the first 3 days of the holiday period.
Like Day 2, Chiang Mai was the province with the most accidents and the most injuries reported on New Year’s Eve. In the Northern province that saw a flood of holiday camper traffic, 23 people were injured as the result of 26 road accidents. Udon Thani in the Northeast of Thailand had the most deaths of any province in the country with 5 fatalities.
As usual, speeding was the main cause of accidents with 36.4% of incidents involving driving too fast, followed closely by alcohol with 34.77% of crashes attributed to drunk driving. On Thursday, poor visibility was blamed as the third most common cause of accidents but, on Friday, 16.4% of accidents were attributed to vehicles that cut off other vehicles by swerving in front of them, making it the third most common reason for an accident.
85.41% of accidents involved at least one motorbike rider, slightly higher than the last 2 days’ totals. An equal amount of road accidents – 36.04% – took place on national highways and local village roads in provincial sub-districts, while 12.61% of accidents were on city roads.
Officials are once again stepping up checkpoints to stop drivers in violation of Thai traffic laws, focusing on the evening hours when most accidents have taken place, with 21.44% of crashes occurring between 6 and 9 pm.