2017 death toll highest on record

2017 death toll highest on record

A Chon Buri forensic official on Thursday inspects the charred wreckage of the van involved in a crash which killed 25 in the eastern province on Monday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
A Chon Buri forensic official on Thursday inspects the charred wreckage of the van involved in a crash which killed 25 in the eastern province on Monday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

A total of 478 people were killed and 4,128 injured in road accidents during the "seven dangerous days" from Dec 29 to Jan 4, making the 2017 New Year death toll the highest in the 10 years that records have been kept.

Deputy Interior Minister Suthee Makboon, chairman of the centre for the prevention and reduction of road accidents under the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, said on Jan 4, the last of the seven-day campaign, there were 340 accidents across the country in which 52 people were killed and 367 injured. The fatalities included people injured in previous days who died on Wednesday.

In total, 3,919 accidents occurred between Dec 29 and Jan 4, killing 478 and injuring 4,128 people.

Most of the accidents (36.6%) were caused by drink driving, followed by speeding (31.31%). Most, or 81.82%, involved motorcycles, and 8% pick-up trucks. (continued below)

The majority of the accidents, 61.78%, happened on main highways, followed by 36.92% on rural roads.

Most of the accidents, 29.24%, took place between 4.01pm and 8pm, and 52.22% of the killed and injured were of the working age.

Four provinces which recorded no deaths were Mae Hong Son in the North and Yala, Ranong and Satun in the South.

The provinces with the highest number of accumulated accidents, 152 each, were Udon Thani in the Northeast and Chiang Mai in the North.

Chon Buri topped the death toll with 33, while Udon Thani and Chiang Mai recorded the highest number of injured, 164 each.

The 2017 New Year death toll of 478 was the highest over the past 10 years when the number of those killed in road accidents was recorded at 449 in 2007; 401 in 2008; 357 in 2009; 347 in 2010; 358 in 2011; 321 in 2012; 365 in 2013; 366 in 2014; 341 in 2015; and, 380 in 2016.

Mr Suthee said during the seven days, 4.4 million vehicles were checked by the authorities and 727,438 people were charged with traffic-related offences.

During that period, the number of vehicles leaving and arriving in Bangkok was about 11 million in total, 26.10% up from 8.7 million on normal days, a factor that increased risks of accidents and caused higher numbers of deaths and injuries, he said.

Mr Suthee said lessons from the increased New Year 's death toll would be taken to mete out measures to be carried out before the Songkran festival.

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