Every year much is made about the ‘seven dangerous days’ in Thailand during the Songkran Festival. We are fed, and then share, terrible death and injury statistics recorded everyday at the time of a nationwide water frenzy, that poses as a religious new year tradition.
Indeed, the figures are shocking – if not altogether surprising, judging by the photographs we also see of mindless morons throwing buckets of iced water into the faces of passing motorbike riders. And of entire families hanging off the back of pick-up trucks speeding around and falling out, onto the concrete.
During the last ten Songkran Festivals, including this year, the following number of people have lost their lives on Thailand’s roads.
2008 – 368
2009 – 373
2010 – 361
2011 – 271
2012 – 320
2013 – 321
2014 – 322
2015 – 364
2016 – 442
2017 – 226 (4 days)
Which adds up to a sad, grand total of 3,368 deaths during the most recent 67 days of Songkran – or an average of 50 fatalities for every single day.
Well, the latest World Health Organisation and The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in the United States study reveals the following;
Each year, on average, 24237 people lose their lives in road traffic accidents in Thailand, which is the second worst figure, per capita, in the world. Only Libya offers higher numbers. (It is worth noting at this time that Thailand, unsurprisingly, manipulate their statistics. Thailand only submit numbers for those found dead at the scene whilst all other countries also include those dying within 30-days of an accident within their casualty figures.)
But, that aside, even Thailand’s own manipulated statistics reveal that on EVERY DAY in Thailand 66 people lose their lives in road traffic accidents, which is, on average, a ridiculous 34% higher than the recorded number during Songkran over the last ten years.
So, it is official. By Thailand’s own figures and using those submitted to and by the World Health Organisation the ‘seven dangerous days’ of Songkran are actually the safest time to be using the roads in Thailand. By quite a margin.
At least during Songkran there is an excuse, of sorts (see image) What excuse can be given for the minimum of 66 deaths on any of the days during the year when road users are not having water and powder thrown in their faces?
Report compiled BangkokJack News Team