A total of 463 people have died due to traffic collisions in Thailand over the past week, as the country’s notoriously lethal roads were once again swamped with drunk drivers during the new year period.
The country’s Road Safety Directing Centre said the death toll for what police call “Seven Dangerous Days” was up by 40 from last year’s count of 423 and just shy of the record of 478 set in 2017.
Drink-driving was listed as the cause of 40% of the 3,791 collisions reported between 27 December and 2 January. During that period 3,892 people were injured, down from 4,005 last year. Although this year’s death toll was up, the collision count was down slightly, from 3,841.
Speeding was the second most reported cause of collisions this year, accounting for 28%. Eighty percent of vehicles involved in crashes were motorcycles.
Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Thailand’s road collision-related death rate was 32.7 people out of every 100,000, the highest in south-east Asia. The organization has blamed Thai authorities for not implementing road safety rules effectively, leading to many drivers taking to the roads when drunk or without holding driving licenses.
After last year’s record death toll was reported, Liviu Vedrasco of the WHO said that although the Seven Dangerous Days received much attention, poor road safety was a year-round problem in Thailand. “Roads in Thailand are dangerous every day, not only seven,” he said.
According to the WHO, Libya is the only country with a higher road collision death rate. In 2015 the organization reported a figure of 73.4 deaths out of every 100,000 people in the African country.