Authorities in Thailand are braced for a record number of traffic deaths during the holiday period as the country’s roads lived up to their official status as the most lethal in south-west Asia.
Every day, hundreds of road accidents occur across the country. But this number increases during the holiday season as seen in Thailand’s roads.
Road accidents occur for a number of reasons. Often, drivers are unfocussed while behind the wheel, taking their attention away from the road. In other cases, drivers can become weary or tired after spending several hours at the wheel, resulting in preventable errors.
Road accident deaths on roads of Thailand
The annual spike in unsafe, often alcohol-fueled driving saw 182 deaths. These deaths were reported between Thursday and Saturday which were up from last year’s bill of 167.
During the three days, in total 1633 accidents were reported on Thailand’s roads. World Health Organization (WHO) named this month as the deadliest in Southeast Asia. Although the death toll was up, the total accidents were reduced by 4.9% year on year, from 1690.
WHO reported that death rate related to Thailand’s road accidents was 32.7 out of every 100,000. Vietnam, second in Southeast Asia, with a figure of 26.7. Singapore was reported to be the safest country in the road accident deaths, with a figure of 2.8. Whereas, the figure for the UK is 2.9.
With many roads to be overloaded with travelers visiting friends and relatives – and getting to and from drinking seasons. Thai police declared these days as a “Seven Dangerous New Year Days” starting on Thursday. During the same seven-day period, 423 people died last year.
A Chinese blogger in Thailand described how to get her left arm to amputate after her car crashed into a tree. Her story debated Chinese social media about the safety of Thailand roads to visit during the New Year.
Police said 40.9% of crashes during the three days were caused by drunk-driving, with 27.2% caused by speed. Approximately three-quarters of vehicles involved in these accidents were motorcycles. And 45,652 motorcyclists arrested at checkpoints for not wearing crash helmets. Police arrested 42,649 drivers for not having a driving license.
The Thai authorities have tried to crack down on drink-driving. They have considered actions like promoting the use of dashboard cameras to spoil dangerous drivers.
However, according to WHO, the high mortality rate of the country was due to weak enforcement of the driving rules. It stated that only 51% of motorcyclists wore helmets and only 58% of car drivers wore safety belts.
Transport Ministers described the importance of traffic rules and regulations. Implementation is the key and the penalty must be large enough for people to be afraid of it. And the security campaigns must be continuous, not just in peak seasons but in routine days as well.
Rules of the road and driving custom are the common practices that road users are required to follow. These instructions and procedures usually apply to all road users. Though they are of distinct importance to cyclists and motorists.