Modern day Songkran celebrations in the main tourist towns are crazy, sure it is certainly a spectacle but by the same token it is mad and dangerous. As usual the death tolls on the roads are stealing the headlines within the ‘7-days of madness’ Songkran window.

The first day has seen nearly 500 reported accidents that have killed 46 people. It is expected around 400 deaths will happen on Thai roads during Songkran 2019. That is 57 deaths a day. What a waste of precious life due to drink and reckless driving.

Globally it grabs international headlines and quite rightly is met with the shock that it deserves.

But ironically deaths on the road during Songkran are lower than the average in Thailand

Thailand has the second highest road traffic fatality rate in the world with an annual estimate of 24,000 deaths or 66 deaths every day.

You read that right, during Songkran deaths on the road are 14% less than normal. If you have experienced Songkran then this statistic will no doubt beggar belief as it is usual to see individual motorbikes with 3 or 4 youngsters on them go hurtling through the streets whilst others squirt them with water during the ‘celebrations’. If this is statistically a safer period of time to be on the roads in Thailand it merely highlights just how dangerous the roads are in Thailand during normal days.

Road accidents in Thailand are common occurrence

Those most at risk of being killed on Thailand roads are vulnerable roads users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) who account for 73% of fatalities – versus an international average of 49%* (* source: World Health Organisation).

The five main reasons identified for such high death rates in Thailand were speeding, drink driving, seatbelts, lack of child restraints and no helmets. Despite a good helmet law, Thailand scored 6 out of 10 for helmet enforcement.

If there is anything to take from this it is to use a car over a motorbike whenever possible and always put your seatbelt on!


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