Surprisingly, Thai officials are claiming that a failure to wear seat belts is behind over 91% of serious injuries in road traffic incidents over Songkran. Dr Opas Karnkawinpong from the Public Health Ministry has confirmed that the number of people injured in road traffic accidents has increased by over 19% compared to the same period last year, with the leading cause of injuries being drivers and passengers are not wearing seat belts.
The Phuket Express reports that between April 11 and 16, there were 17,775 injuries reported. Of those, 3,814 people needed to be hospitalised, an increase of nearly 82% compared to 2022. However, the number of road accident fatalities has decreased by nearly 27%, with 232 reported this year.
The most dangerous province for road accident deaths during Songkran was the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, which reported 12 fatalities. It was followed by Chiang Rai, with 9, and the central province of Pathum Thani, with 8.
In terms of the number of people injured in road traffic accidents, Chiang Mai had the most, at 811, followed by Nakhon Ratchasima with 782 and, staying in the north-east, Khon Kaen with 665.
According to Dr Opas, a failure to wear seat belts was behind 91.95% of injuries, with drink driving causing 31.51%, and not wearing a helmet causing 10.77% of injuries in motorbike accidents.
As the holiday period draws to a close, and many are expected to make the journey home today, Dr Opas is urging people to be careful. He says motorists must obey traffic laws and plan their driving route in advance. In addition, drivers should ensure they get enough rest and that their vehicle is road-worthy.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express