BANGKOK, 17 April 2015: Thailand’s road carnage associated with the seven deadly days of Songkhran, 9 to 15 April, reached 364 fatalities exceeding the 2014 toll by 11.66%, or 38 deaths.
The Road Safety Directing Centre reported 364 road fatalities over the seven days, up from 326 during the festival last year.
It averaged at 52 deaths a day over the seven-day festival, a statistic that resembles war zone casualties.
Injuries from road accidents also increased 10.36% to 3,559 compared to 3,225 in 2014. Road accidents (incidents rather than injuries) increased 12.73% to 3,373 compared to 2,992 during the same period last year.
Surin also was the top hot spot for road injuries (152) ahead of Phitsanulok (149) and Surat Thani (130).
Phitsanulok had the most road accidents at 141 followed by Surin (120) and Chiang Mai (119).
The centre also identified there were five provinces that were free of fatal accidents during the holiday. There were: Phuket, Mae Hong Son, Yala, Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon.
Alcohol consumption was blamed for 39.31% of accidents followed by dangerous driving 24.35%.
Motorcycles were involved in most accidents and the resulting serious injuries were linked to the majority of riders not wearing helmets.
While the media focuses on festival-related accidents, road safety year-round is a major challenge that should be resolved by year-round efforts. The daily death average on Thai roads is 19, which is one of the worst records, worldwide, making road travel in Thailand dangerous whatever the form of transport.
Official statistics show that in the 2014 fiscal year (October 2013 to September 2014), road accidents killed 6,985 people in Thailand, down 19.07% from 8,631 during the 2013 fiscal year. On average, the 2014 daily death toll at 19, was significantly lower than the daily toll of 52 during the seven days of Songkhran.