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Chiang Mai still No.1 for road accidents

Traffic is bumper to bumper in Muang district of Kalasin as revellers head back to Bangkok after the new year holiday. (Photo by Yongyuth Phupuangphet)

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The first five of the "seven dangerous days" of New Year travel has seen 2,761 road accidents, 314 deaths and 2,848 people injured -- with Chiang Mai posting the highest number of accidents, while Nakhon Ratchasima has suffered the most deaths.

Prapon Tangsrikiattikul, the deputy permanent secretary for public health, said on Tuesday that on Monday, the fifth day of the seven-day New Year travel period, there were 569 road accidents which killed 72 people and injured 591 others.

The most common cause remained drink driving -- which led to 44.82% of Monday's accidents -- followed by speeding (29.88%). Motorcycles were involved in 81.62% of the accidents, followed by pickup trucks (6.24%). The most accident-prone time was between 4pm and 8pm.

On Monday, the highest number of accidents was 23 in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The highest number of injured people was 27 in the same province. The highest one-day death toll was four in Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

The figures showed that Thailand's roads were slightly less lethal than over the same five-day period last year.

Over the four days, Chiang Mai recorded the highest number of accidents -- 91. The highest death toll was in Nakhon Ratchasima, with 14 fatalities, and the largest number of injured people -- 96 -- was in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Authorities and volunteers are stepping up measures and deploying more medics as travellers return to Bangkok from home visits or vacation.

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