As Thailand's New Year festivities reach their peak, the nation is facing a grim reality of escalating road accidents. The first day of 2024 alone witnessed a tragic loss of 62 lives, catapulting the total number of road fatalities to 190 during the “seven dangerous days” of the holiday season. This concerning trend has notably affected Hua Hin, a key destination in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, renowned for its serene beaches and bustling tourism.
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported a staggering 419 road accidents on Monday, with speeding identified as the primary cause in 39.4% of these incidents. Drunk driving followed closely, contributing to 30.55% of the accidents.
Motorcycles, integral to Thailand's transport fabric, were involved in 86.51% of these accidents, the majority occurring on straight roads. Prachuap Khiri Khan, the province that houses Hua Hin, alongside other popular tourist spots like Cha-am, has emerged as a hotspot for traffic injuries, registering 22 cases.
The night hours, particularly between midnight and 1 am, have been the most hazardous, coinciding with the highest accident rates. Young adults, particularly those in the 20-29 age bracket, represent the largest group of victims, accounting for 17.36% of the total casualties.
While Bangkok recorded the highest number of road deaths with five fatalities, Prachuap Khiri Khan matched Songkhla for the most accidents on Monday, each reporting 15 incidents.
As Hua Hin prepares to navigate the aftermath of these troubling statistics, the community is reminded of the importance of road safety. With the New Year exodus drawing millions to travel across the country, the department has issued warnings about potential congestion on interprovincial roads, particularly as people return to cities after the holiday break.
The emphasis is on drivers to ensure their vehicles are in good condition before embarking on journeys and to take adequate rest breaks to avoid drowsiness. This surge in road accidents during the holiday period serves as a stark reminder of the need for heightened vigilance and responsible driving, particularly in regions like Hua Hin, where tourism surge can intensify traffic conditions.