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Thailand’s 7 Day Songkran Holiday Claims 287 Lives in Traffic Accidents

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Thailand's Road Death Toll Jumps to 158 on the 4th Day of Songkran
Songkran Road Deaths: File Photo

Thailand’s Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reports there were 287 fatalities and 2,060 injuries in traffic accidents during the government’s Songkran celebration road safety program. Mr Anutin said that the casualties occurred in 2,044 road accidents between April 11 and 17.

During the so-called “seven dangerous days” of travel, the northernmost province of Chiang Rai had the most accidents (82) and consequent deaths (17). Seven out of 77 provinces were devoid of traffic fatalities. The northern province of Phrae had the largest number of injuries, with 80.

According to the minister, there were fewer traffic accidents and injuries this year than the previous year, but there were more fatalities. Authorities have committed to continue vigorous road safety initiatives throughout the year, he added.

On April 17, there were 224 road incidents, with 28 deaths and 224 injuries. Speeding accounted for 46% of the incidents, followed by cutting in front of other vehicles (19%) and drink-driving (12%).

Covid-19 Deaths Drop Below Thailand's Daily Road Death Toll

Taxi crashes into police station: File Photo

The 7 Dangerous Days

Between December 29 and January 4, 2,288 traffic incidents occurred nationally, resulting in 284 fatalities and 2,307 injuries. Speeding remained the leading cause of road accidents, accounting for 48.5%.

Last year’s Songkran holiday, which ran from April 11 to 17, had 2,203 road accidents, resulting in 264 deaths and 2,208 injuries. People riding motorbikes without a crash helmet accounted for the majority of deaths and injuries.

During Thailand’s celebrated Songkran Festival, the excitement of water battles, street parties, and traditional festivals conceals a darker reality.

Known locally as the “7 dangerous days,” the period from April 11 to 17 sees a surprising increase in road accidents, resulting in a heartbreaking number of injuries and deaths each year.

road deaths thailand

Chiang Rai had the most accidents and deaths: File Photo

Thailand’s Deadly Roads

Thailand’s roads are notoriously deadly, with an alarming number of accidents and deaths each year. The country has one of the world’s highest rates of road traffic fatalities, owing to a mix of factors like as reckless driving, poor road conditions, and inadequate traffic enforcement.

Speeding is a big issue, with cars frequently disregarding the speed limits and weaving through traffic at dizzying speeds. Drunk driving is also common, despite harsh legal consequences. Motorcycles fill the roadways, and riders routinely engage in dangerous tactics like cutting between cars and running red signals. Pedestrians also face dangers since sidewalks are few and jaywalking is frequent.

Another issue is with the road infrastructure. Many highways are in poor condition, with potholes, faded lane lines, and inadequate illumination. Rural roads are frequently small, twisting, and lacking in necessary safety elements. Construction zones, with their complex detours and loose gravel, exacerbate the problem.

Authorities struggle to maintain enforcement due to insufficient resources and corruption. Police checkpoints are irregular, and drivers found disobeying the law can frequently bribe their way out of fines or punishments. Public awareness programs have had limited impact in shifting deeply ingrained attitudes about road safety.


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