In Thailand, road accidents killed two people every hour in 2020, totaling 17,831 deaths, reported by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.
The majority of road accidents in Thailand are caused by 70% of people of working age, ranging from 16 to 60 years old. However, accidents among the elderly are also on the rise, reflecting Thailand’s aging society.
Dr. Wittaya Chartbanchachai of the Provincial Accident Prevention Support Plan says that road accidents involving older people are usually given a low priority because there are fewer involved than younger ones.
The statistics should make authorities rethink and take steps to reduce road accidents involving elderly people, he noted.
The foundation reports that motorcyclists and their pillion riders accounted for 74% of the fatalities. This trend has been continuing for some time because many riders, especially pillion riders, don’t wear crash helmets.
It was reported last year by the International Health Policy Program that the death toll could drop by 36% if all pillion riders wore crash helmets.
Poor enforcement of traffic laws
Dr. Wittaya noted that lax enforcement of traffic laws in Thailand contributes to the high incidence of road accidents, noting that traffic violators are stopped differently in different provinces.
As of February 2022, there were approximately 7.5 thousand minor injuries caused by local road accidents, followed by around 1.9 thousand accidents with serious injuries in Thailand.
Based on statistics Thailand’s road deaths exceed the number of people who have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
As of March 25th, 2022 a total of 24,714 people have died since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020. Based on two people dying every hour in road deaths in the past 2 years of the pandemic 35,040 people have been killed in road accidents.
According to the World Health Organization, road accidents cost the country 500 billion baht in 2019. Thailand has the highest death rate in Southeast Asia, with a 32.7 percent death rate, according to a WHO report.
Fatal Road Accidents
The number of stops for driving under the influence in Tak province was 5,521 per 100,000 of the population, while none were made in Pattani and Lop Buri. In Tak, 47,830 out of 100,000 people were stopped for not wearing a crash helmet, while only 54 were stopped in Maha Sarakham.
Based on findings in 2020, the ten provinces with the highest number of fatal road accidents are Rayong, Nakhon Nayok, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Chainat, Prachin Buri, Saraburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Lamphun, and Suphan Buri.
There have been fewer road accidents in Amnat Charoen, Yala, Bangkok, Satun, Pattani, Narathiwat, Mae Hong Son, Samut Songkhram, Nonthaburi, and Udon Thani than in any other province.
Meanwhile, instead of focusing on standards and qualifications for drivers, the Transport Ministry focuses on building roads and issuing licenses.
According to a study, most accidents are the fault of bad drivers, not the weather or road conditions.
As part of the Highway Police’s effort to combat unsafe driving, traffic cameras have been installed to capture violations and to avoid having to deal with motorists who break traffic laws directly.
Despite this, 70% of motorists caught on traffic cameras fail to pay their fines and none have had their driver’s licenses revoked.
Local roads in small communities account for the majority of road accidents, not highways. The majority of people use motorcycles for travel and rarely wear safety helmets.