Day 1: 42 dead, 432 injured

Day 1: 42 dead, 432 injured

Five people were injured when this passenger van overturned in the Bangkok-bound lane of Highway 340 in tambon Tha Rahad in Muang district of Suphan Buri on Friday morning. (Photo from @Samerkun Suphanburi Rescue Foundation Facebook page)
Five people were injured when this passenger van overturned in the Bangkok-bound lane of Highway 340 in tambon Tha Rahad in Muang district of Suphan Buri on Friday morning. (Photo from @Samerkun Suphanburi Rescue Foundation Facebook page)

Forty-two people were killed and more than 400 injured in road accidents across the country on Thursday, the first of the “seven dangerous days" of the New Year holiday.

Drink driving was given as the major cause.

A total of 420 road accidents were reported on Dec 27, with 42 deaths and 432 injuries, Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said, citing a report from the Road Safety Directing Centre.

Impaitred driving was the biggest single cause, accounting for 37.6% of all accidents, followed by speeding at 21.2%. Four out of every five accidents involved motorcycles, Mr Weerasak said.  

Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi recorded the highest number of accidents with 19 each, while Khon Kaen and Lop Buri had the highest number of fatalities at four each. Chiang Mai also had the highest number of injuries with 20.

The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. By age group, people over 50 accounted for a leading 31.2% of injuries and deaths.

A total of 114,177 traffic offenders were arrested at 2,042 road checkpoints, with 637,544 vehicles checked. A total of 34,165 motorcyclists failed to wear crash helmets, 30,923 drivers had no licences and 14,411 were not wearing safety belts.

Thailand was recently found to have the eighth worst record in the world for road safety, based on fatalities per 100,000 population, in a World Health Organization study. That was actually an improvement from a previous WHO survey when the country was the second-worst in the world, behind only LIbya.

People who witness accidents are urged to call the hotline numbers 1784 or 1669, said Chaiyaphol Thitisak, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.


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