2 people per hour were killed in road accidents in Thailand in 2020

PHOTO: Flickr David McKelvey

A Thai health foundation has found that two people were killed in road accidents every hour in Thailand in 2020. The total number of people killed in road accidents throughout that year was 17,831. The foundation, Thai Health Promotion Foundation, said motorcycle drivers and riders made up the 74% of fatalities.

The International Health Policy Program said in its report last year that, if all pillion riders wear crash helmets, the death toll will likely drop by 36%. A chairman of the Accident Prevention Support Plan said the alarming numbers should make authorities rethink and develop measures to reduce road accidents involving elderly people. He said law enforcement is too relaxed in enforcing laws, and consequences for traffic violators vary between provinces.

Even though 70% of accidents involved people 16-60 years old, the number of accidents involving elderly people is rising. Part of this is because Thailand is becoming an ageing society.

In January, one road death made headlines across Thailand when a motorcycle hit and killed an eye doctor at a zebra crossing in Bangkok. After the incident, a health organisation and a road safety organisation teamed up to study how many cars, motorbikes, and public vehicles stop for pedestrians at 12 zebra crossings in Bangkok. They found that altogether, 89% wouldn’t stop. For motorcycles, the rate was 92% of 6,449 motorcycles that wouldn’t stop. For cars, the rate was 86% of 7,619. For public vehicles it was 80% of 285.

Bangkok officials then planned to install traffic lights and surveillance cameras at 100 zebra crossings.

In Tak province, there were 5,521 stops per 100,000 of the population for driving under the influence. 47,830 per 100,000 were stopped in Tak for not wearing a crash helmet.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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