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7 Dangerous Days begins with 39 deaths, 362 accidents on Thai roads

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: 362 road accidents led to 362 injuries and 39 deaths on Wednesday.

On the first day of the yearly Seven Dangerous Days, where the Thai Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation tracks traffic accidents and deaths, 39 people were killed on the roads plus 362 people were injured and as many accidents on Wednesday. The department tracks the statistics for 7 days from December 29 each year, as holiday travel create a sharp increase in traffic incidents.

On the first day, 81.3% of the recorded 362 road accidents involves at least one motorbike. Speeding made up the largest percentage of accident causes, with 34.6% of all road accidents involving at least one vehicle driving too fast for safety.

Out of the 362 road accidents that took place on Wednesday, 23.8% of them involved driving while intoxicated. With the large number of drunk driving incidents, one might think that most accidents happened in the evening or late at night, but the most accident-prone time for the roads of Thailand was actually between the hours of 3 pm and 6 pm.

The type of roads where accidents took place is also recorded in the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation’s daily reports. On Wednesday, accidents were distributed fairly evenly, with 36.8% of incidents happening on roads managed by the Highways Department and a similar 34.6% of accidents taking place on smaller roads and local villages. The vast majority of accidents, 83.9%, happened on straight roads.

The report also tracks which provinces have the most accidents and the most fatalities. Ratchaburi had 13 accidents on Wednesday, the most of any single province, while Nakhon Ratchasima was the province with the most deaths, a total of 5 that day.

Traffic police during the Seven Dangerous Days also step up road inspections, examining over 360,000 vehicles at 1,875 checkpoints along Thailand’s roads. Over 5,700 officers are deployed throughout the country, and they found a total of nearly 63,000 drivers in violation of Thai traffic laws. 18,000 of those were people who drove their motorbikes without a helmet and another nearly 8,000 violations were car drivers who did not wear their seatbelts.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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    Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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