Forty-six people were killed and 482 injured in road accidents across the country on the first day of the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran holiday travel.
A total of 468 accidents were reported on April Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Friday, citing a Road Safety Directing Center report.
Thailand celebrates Songkran — Thai New Year’s national holiday — on April 13 every year, with the extension of holiday period until April 15.
However, the Thai government extended the festival period from April 12 to 16 since 2018.
The holiday period is usually termed as “seven dangerous days” of Songkran holiday travel because of the road accidents.
According to the Bangkok Post, Thai Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith on Friday said the most common causes of accidents were drunk driving (34.6%), followed by speeding (26.9%).
“667,000 people left Bangkok for other provinces on Thursday alone – the largest single-day exodus for Songkran on record,” the minister said.
According to the Bangkok Post, 2018 witnessed 447 road accidents in which 48 people were killed and 452 others were injured during the same period.
“2,036 road checkpoints were set up across the country during Songkran. A total of 709,464 vehicles were stopped at the checkpoints, with 163,584 motorists facing legal action for traffic rule violations.
Of the offenders, 45,230 failed to wear crash helmets and 41,485 drove without licenses,” the daily added.