BANGKOK – A total of 25,516 people with road accident injuries have received medical care from public hospitals nationwide during Thailand’s Songkran water festival, of whom 3,815 were seriously hurt, Thai Public Health Ministry revealed on Sunday.
Pranom Khamthiang, deputy permanent secretary for the Public Health Ministry said drunk driving was the major cause of the seriously hurt cases at 30 percent. As holidaymakers begin their return trips from the Thai traditional new year, speeding and fatigue driving will be at high risk of road crashes.
She has ordered all public hospitals to prepare medical teams, emergency and operation rooms, blood bank and patient wards around the clock during the Songkran period.
Officials have stationed at the nationwide centres to be ready to handle emergency services in response to accidents that may occur during return travel to Bangkok. People are urged to phone the center for immediate medical assistance for any road accidents.
The first six days of the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran running from April 11 to 17 saw 397 people lose their lives and 3,271 other injures from 3,104 road crashes across Thailand, a 29.74 percent jump from last year, according to Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisit.
Speeding accounted for 31.05 percent of all the accidents followed by drink driving, 28.16 percent. Motorcycles accounted for 80.88 percent of the accidents followed by pickup trucks, 10.08 percent.
Arkhom said the use of personal vehicles had resulted to higher road accidents this year.