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Day 1: 42 dead, 432 injured

This passenger van overturned on the Bangkok-bound side of highway 340 in tambon Tha Rahad, Muang district, Suphan Buri on Friday morning, injuring five people. (Photo by @Samerkun Suphanburi Rescue Foundation Facebook Page)

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Forty-two people were killed and more than 400 injured in road accidents across the country on Thursday, the first of the “seven dangerous days’ of the New Year holiday.

Drink driving was given as the major cause.

A total of 420 road accidents were reported on Dec 27, the first day of the road safety campaign, with 42 deaths and 432 injuries, Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said on Friday, citing a report from the Road Safety Directing Centre.

Drink-driving was the biggest single cause of road accidents, accounting for 37.62%, followed by speeding, 21.19%. Four out of every five accidents involved motorcycles, Mr Weerasak said.  

Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi recorded the highest number of accidents with 19 each, while Khon Kaen and Lop Buri had the highest number of fatalities, with four deaths each. Chiang Mai also had the highest number of injuries with 20.

The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. People over 50 made up the largest age group of injured and dead, 31.22%.

A total of 114,177 traffic offenders were arrested at 2,042 road checkpoints, of 637,544 vehicles checked. A total of 34,165 motorcyclists failed to wear crash helmets, 30,923 drivers had no licences and 14,411 were not wearing safety belts.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department director-general Chaiyaphol Thitisak, secretary of the Road Safety Directing Centre, urged people to call hotlines 1784 or 1669 if they saw a road accident.  

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