Injuries increased by 81% during Songkran, road fatalities decreased

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

Hospital admissions during the Songkran Festival spiked by 81% due to road accidents

A significant 81% rise in hospital admissions has been reported due to an alarming 19% increase in the number of people injured in road accidents during the Songkran Festival, as stated by the Ministry of Public Health.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Opas Kankawinpong, expressed his concern over the escalating number of injuries caused by road accidents. He noted that the majority of drivers and passengers disregarded fundamental safety precautions, such as wearing helmets whilst driving and securing seatbelts.

Data gathered by the ministry’s Public Health Emergency Operation Centre from April 11-16 revealed that the total number of injured individuals reached 17,775 cases, marking a 19.3% increase compared to the previous year. Among these cases, 3,814 patients were admitted to hospitals, an 81.8% surge, Bangkok Post reported.

The primary cause of accidents (about 92%) was people not wearing safety belts, followed by the absence of helmets (32%) and driving under the influence of alcohol (11%).

On a positive note, the accumulated death toll declined by 26.8% from last year to 232 cases.

As today marks the final day of the extended holiday, Dr Kankawinpong urged the public to exercise extra caution while driving back home. He also advised individuals to monitor their symptoms if they develop a fever, in which case an ATK test for Covid-19 would be necessary.

In related news, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation of the Interior Ministry disclosed that between April 11-15, traffic accidents claimed 197 lives and injured 1,738 others. Motorcycles were involved in a staggering 78.9% of these road accidents.

Deputy permanent secretary Chotenarin Kerdsom stated that the majority of accidents (59) took place in the northern province of Nan, while the highest death toll of 15 was recorded in Bangkok.

Similarly, the greatest number of people injured was reported in Nan, with 59 individuals affected.

Furthermore, assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Prachuap Wongsuk announced that from April 11-15, police apprehended 362,102 people for breaching traffic regulations across the country.

The most common violation, accounting for 37% of cases or 133,639 incidents, was exceeding the speed limit. Other frequent offences included driving without a licence (80,251 cases or 22%), driving without wearing a helmet (71,299 cases or 20%), and intoxicated driving (18,205 cases or 5%).

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.