Road Accidents Claim 206 Lives in First Five Days of Songkran

According to data released on Tuesday, 206 people were killed and 1,593 others were injured in traffic accidents during the first five days of the Songkran road safety campaign week.

From April 11 to 15, there were 1,564 traffic accidents, marking a 10.4% decrease from the 1,745 incidents recorded during the same period last year. Although fatalities increased slightly from 200 to 206, injuries decreased by 8.3% from 1,737.

Seventeen out of 77 provinces reported no fatal traffic accidents so far, announced Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew on Tuesday.

Chiang Rai, the northernmost province, recorded the highest number of traffic accidents at 61. Nan, another northern province, had the highest number of injuries with 60.

The highest fatality count, 13, was shared by Bangkok and Chiang Rai. On Monday alone, there were 301 traffic accidents resulting in 39 deaths and 314 injuries, according to the health minister.

Speeding was the leading cause, accounting for 43.2% of the accidents, followed by drink-driving at 23.9% and cutting-in at 15.3%. Motorcycles were involved in 83.8% of all accidents.

Chaiwat Chuntirapong, the Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, noted heavy traffic on roads leading to Bangkok on Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of driver fitness.

Ruangsak Suwaree, Director-General of the Probation Department, reported 4,132 traffic violations from April 11 to 15, with 96% related to drink-driving.

Bangkok recorded the most drink-driving incidents with 446 cases, followed by Nonthaburi at 238 and Samut Prakan at 214.

According to a 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) report, Thailand has the deadliest roads in Southeast Asia and ranks ninth worldwide with a road fatality rate of 32.7 per 100,000 people annually.

Approximately 20,000 people, or 56 per day, lose their lives in traffic-related incidents each year.