Full Road Accident Statistics for New Year 2017-2018 in Thailand

It is now that time of year when the Thai government publicize the daily accident reports from around Thailand. This year, the “Seven Dangerous Days of the New Year” is from 28th December 2017 to 3rd January 2018. During the new year holiday last year, 478 people were killed in road accidents. The leading causes of accidents every year is drunk driving and speeding. Most accidents involve motorcycles.

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7 Dangerous Days on Thailand’s Roads 2017-2018: 423 deaths (478 last year)
Day 1:
 51 deaths (42 last year)
Day 2:
 51 deaths (71 last year)
Day 3: 
79 deaths (86 last year) 
Day 4: 
76 deaths (81 last year)
Day 5:
 75 deaths (87 last year)
Day 6:
 51 deaths (59 last year)
Day 7: 
40 deaths (52 last year)

* Please note, all deaths are recorded regardless of whether it happened at the scene of the accident or not. If someone died a few days later in hospital, they are added to the tally, as long as it is within the so-called “7 dangerous days”. 

DAY 1 – Thursday 28th December 2017: On the first day, 51 people were killed and 490 injured in 477 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (42.8%) and speeding (26%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (73.6%). The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. The most dangerous province for accidents was Chiang Mai (23). Province with the highest number of deaths was Sisaket (6 deaths).

DAY 2 – Friday 29th December 2017: On the second day, 51 people were killed and 606 injured in 576 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (42.19%) and speeding (23.26%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (77.57%). The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. The most dangerous province for accidents was Nakhon Si Thammarat (25). Provinces with the highest number of deaths were Phitasnulok, Pathum Thani and Ubon Ratchathani (3 deaths each).

DAY 3 – Saturday 30th December 2017: On the third day, 79 people were killed and 681 injured in 649 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (47.92%) and speeding (21.88%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (78.77%). The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. The most dangerous provinces for accidents were Buriram and Chiang Mai (27 times each). Provinces with the highest number of deaths were Buriram and Mahasarakam (5 deaths each).

DAY 4 – Sunday 31st December 2017: On the fourth day, 76 people were killed and 703 injured in 678 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (48.67%) and speeding (26.40%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (80.26%). The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. The most dangerous provinces for accidents were Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai (24 times). Province with the highest number of deaths was Kanchanaburi (4 deaths).

DAY 5 – Monday 1st January 2018: On the fifth day, 75 people were killed and 692 injured in 677 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (47.27%) and speeding (26.00%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (82.45%). The most common time for accidents was between 1am and 4am. The most dangerous province for accidents was Udon Thani (38 times). Provinces with the highest number of deaths were Roi Et and Bangkok (5 deaths).

DAY 6 – Tuesday 2nd January 2018: On the sixth day, 51 people were killed and 431 injured in 400 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (40.25%) and speeding (28.50%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (79.76%). The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. The most dangerous provinces for accidents were Surat Thani and Songkla (15 times). Provinces with the highest number of deaths were Suphanburi, Buriram, Nakhon Ratchasima and Nonthaburi (3 deaths).

DAY 7 – Wednesday 3rd January 2018: On the seventh day, 40 people were killed and 402 injured in 386 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (28.24%) and speeding (25.91%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (77.83%). The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. The most dangerous province for accidents was Udon Thani (19 times). Provinces with the highest number of deaths were Nakhon Pathom and Ubon Ratchathani (4 deaths).

New Year Statistics for Past Years:

New Year 2010: 347 deaths, 3,827 injuries and 3,534 accidents
New Year 2011: 358 deaths, 3,750 injuries and 3,497 accidents
New Year 2012: 336 deaths, 3,375 injuries and 3,093 accidents
New Year 2013: 367 deaths, 3,329 injuries and 3,176 accidents
New Year 2014: 341 deaths, 3,117 injuries and 2,997 accidents
New Year 2015: 380 deaths, 3,505 injuries and 3,379 accidents
New Year 2016: 478 deaths, 4,068 injuries and 3,899 accidents
New Year 2017: 423 deaths, 4,005 injuries and 3,841 accidents

It should be noted that these statistics are not 100% accurate as some accidents do go unreported. However, in these days of social media reporting, which includes local media, it is more difficult to hide any reports of deaths. There was once a case a few years back when local media in Phuket disputed the numbers. They had reported the death of a migrant worker but it wasn’t reported in official statistics. Hopefully this year will be more accurate.

25 thoughts on “Full Road Accident Statistics for New Year 2017-2018 in Thailand

  • January 4, 2019 at 11:16 am

    * Please note, all deaths are recorded regardless of whether it happened at the scene of the accident or not. If someone died a few days later in hospital, they are added to the tally, as long as it is within the so-called “7 dangerous days”.

    Do you have a link to an official report of how traffic deaths are reported in Thailand?

    • January 4, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Can you read Thai? All of the above I translated from the official source.

  • January 12, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Has anyone got any thoughts on why the Chiang Mai province features so predominantly in these stats?

    • January 12, 2018 at 9:25 am

      Many Bangkok drivers go there for the holidays. It’s a popular destination.

  • January 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    “Is there any specific tip on how to avoid accidents at all ?”
    Unregulated u-turns are notoriously accident prone. Vehicles wait (sometimes) for oncoming traffic and then just go for it, or they “cheat” by going against traffic to save the inconvenience of driving slightly further the correct way. When I know I will either u-turn or turn right. I try to be patient and drive until I get a proper red light green arrow and even still proceed with caution. Also if you encounter any particularly crazy fast aggressive drivers, just ease to the shoulder a bit and Let Them Go! Never take the bait or drive offensively. Even honking your horn can get you into trouble. Subscribe to the Facebook group “Bad driving in Thailand” and watch all the CCTV and dashcam videos, which will give a better idea what situations to avoid.

  • January 7, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Having driven on roads all over the world ,I would have to say that Thai people haven’t got a clue how to drive any form off motor vehicle safely on any road.
    For such a peaceful , placid people ,getting behind the wheel or sitting on a motorbike , white line fever sets in .Why are they in such a hurry to get somewhere ,sit down and do f*** all ,it is truly beyond belief .
    SLOW DOWN ,better to be late than dead on arrival.

  • January 6, 2018 at 9:55 am

    I have driven motorcycles and cars in Thailand for 16 years. The one thing you must learn early on is to anticipate and watch people’s body language if you are to survive. The driving test here is so simple it is not worthy of being called any sort of a test, and there is little way of teaching people to respect laws here when everyone and their dog are so well aware of the corruption in all spheres of life. Until some brave political soul gets new laws passed and weedles out poor policing by giving police officers better training, plus commensurate wage increases to encourage good practices, there will be continued carnage on the roads. It is not the peoples fault that there are so many casualties, there is no leadership to help or make them understand they have a responsibility to others, and until this reform takes place dogma prevails.

  • January 4, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    In articles recently reporting Thailand’s 2nd place (after Libya) in the world road death rankings, it was claimed between 22,000 and 24,000 people die each year on Thailand’s roads:

    That’s an average of 60 to 66 deaths per day, every day.

    So 423 deaths in these “7 dangerous days” is not especially dangerous, for Thailand. It’s actually on the low end of the average expected for 7 days, which would be 420 to 455.

    • January 5, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      I have always thought that the “7 dangerous days” was rather stupid. The other 358 days are just as dangerous if not more so.

    • February 26, 2018 at 3:58 am

      The seven deadly days (don’t forget that there are two of these – Western New Year and Thai New Year) are of relevance due to the high amount of people who will be travelling across the country to return to see their families.

      What is of more interest is that this year, the number was down on last year – is this a trend that will continue? I certainly hope so!

      Also, the number of injury only accidents is, I fear, grossly under-reported and what we need to consider is that whilst there may be fatality involved in these accidents, there is a financial cost. A ‘life changing’ accident will incur an ongoing financial cost to the individual, their family and to the economy as well.

      How do we solve this?

      The issue lies in education firstly, but with equal importance, rigorous policing by the Highway Police leading to suitably severe punishment in court.

      Is there the ‘drive’ to resolve this?

      Good question and one which we can only watch and see what happens.

      Re driving in Thailand, drive safely and assume that everyone else has no idea of what to do when on the road. You will get used to vehicles driving up the wrong way on the inside hard shoulder (or even the inside lane) and at times, they will NOT have their lights on at night. There is a very high level of drink and drug driving unfortunately. U-Turns are as scary as hell……thankfully in a few places, there has been fly-overs built which are much safer.

      If you are involved in an accident, you will find that if you are a non-Thai, the language barrier with the police and the other driver will be a problem. Insurance companies will be requested to come out and see the vehicles in-situ….. Drive with eyes facing forward, back and sideways, never allow yourself to be complacent.

      That said, I have driven over a number of years in Thailand and yes, I have witnessed a lot of stupid driving antics, however so long as you are spatially aware, you should be OK!

      Watch out for the farangs driving on motor scooters with no helmets – we’d never do this in our own country, so god only knows why when farangs land in Thailand, they forget common sense!

      UK & Thailand

  • January 3, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I am scared driving here and i have been driving for 40 years As for accidents i have seen many here Its like a mob of zombies sitting behind the wheel of a car No respect, no patience, No idea, No respect for the law or laws Was due to get a new 5 year license in April i am seriously think no way I have had enough thrills here

  • January 2, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    As a regular driver on Thai roads and all over Thailand over a 25 year period I can honestly say this is the worst and most dangerous country in the world for car and bike accidents. Thais have poor driving standards and most Thai drivers are so arrogant on the road that most of the accidents are from total stupidity. I don’t live in Thailand but I spend 3 to 4 months every year in Thailand and have owned a sedan car or a 4×4 for the entire period.
    Cutting corners on roads is a major hazard and passing on roads where you cannot see is a major problem. I have witnessed hundreds of accidents during these 25 years and the number is increasing all the time. Recently I spoke with somebody who couldn’t pass the driving test but then paid 500 baht in tea money to get a car licence.
    The police need to fine offenders so that it hurts their pocket. Letting children as young as 8 years ride a motorbike is where it all starts, there is no respect for the law. Parents don’t care until their child is hurt or killed.

  • January 2, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Don’t know how you prevent it without a heavy police presence and highway patrol. Have been on the roads the last 2 days and no police the same as usual.

  • December 30, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Being a regular visitor to Thailand and Bangkok in particular, I am very surprized by these statistics as I have only ever seen one road accident!

    True, some roads require great care (and nerves of steel!) when crossing them, and motorbikes go way to fast, but considering how many cars on the roads and how many people are on the streets, a %ge of accidents to cars and %ge of accidents to habitants of Bangkok may be a more meaningful picture.

    • December 30, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      I am not sure how much driving you do, but I pass several road accidents on the majority of my day trips. Coming back from Chanthaburi the other day, I drove past three accidents, one of which was serious and involved multiple cars.

      • January 5, 2018 at 7:25 am

        As someone who will have his first longer trip to thailand soon :

        Is there any specific tip on how to avoid accidents at all ? I will rent a car and explore the country for about 5 weeks and am kind of surprised by the high death toll of accidents in thailand.

        • January 5, 2018 at 5:59 pm

          Bear in mind that over 80% of all deaths and an even higher percentage of injuries are to motorcycle drivers and pillion passengers. They don’t know the rules of the road, don’t wear crash helmets and don’t respect the law or their own life, so the specific tip I would give you is to avoid motorcyclists and certainly don’t ride one yourself. I have had a truck and trailer deliberately force me off the road.

        • January 12, 2018 at 8:40 am

          Just maintain a high level of concentration. Assume other drivers will do stupid and dangerous things and drive defensively and patiently.
          Farang female driver …..15 years in Chiang Mai

          • February 14, 2018 at 11:58 pm

            Well said you hit the nail on the head 👍

        • July 11, 2018 at 12:28 pm

          Do not expect Thai drivers to react in the way drivers react in your country so do not challenge Thai drivers in the way you may do at home, give motorbikes a wide birth because they could normally be driving the wrong way down the hard shoulder of a dual carriageway, have three or four people on them , be driven by 14 or younger children with no licence, etc. Do not drive at night or if possible in the rain. Be patient slow motorbikes with sidecar (samlor) maybe with five people on them can cause queues and you can’t see them so you get impatient. Well there are a few things….

        • January 6, 2019 at 7:24 pm

          Here’s what I do:
          1. be fully alert, well-rested and ready to absorb, analyze and react to a stream of information
          2. avoid all distractions, shut-off cell phone, no music or radio so your sense of sound can be applied to driving, ask passengers to not speak to you unless they first check the road and see it is safe to distract you
          3. Beware what’s coming from behind. There’s lots of gap-chasers, traffic-weavers, lane-runners and speed demons who want to overtake you
          4. use a dashcam with a rear camera to record what actually happens from the front and the back. I use a wide screen model set to show the rear camera while driving.
          5. Do not drive during darkness or twilight and preferably stop by 1600 hours.
          6. Know your route and pre-program your gps before driving.
          7. Ensure your vehicle is in safe driving condition.
          8. Do not linger beside trucks! If you cannot pass by quickly because there’s a vehicle ahead of you, slow down before moving beside the truck, wait for the other vehicle to clear, look at the truck to ensure it’s safe, then accelerate on through. If you need to brake soon afterwards, check your mirror and be prepared to move.
          9. Slow a bit when approaching U-turns, be ready to brake quickly (i move left foot over the brake pedal) and/or take evasive action. It’s best to not be in the right lane at these points.
          10. Don’t get mad at other drivers, be distracted by them or do something you might regret. You’ll probably witness some crazy stuff. Be ready for the next one, it could be happening now!

    • January 1, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      By international standards, Thailand has the highest rate of road fatalities rate in the world. I’m not sure that one tourist not having seen an accident really qualifies as evidence against that (unless you’re one of Donald Trump’s spokespeople!).

    • January 9, 2018 at 12:05 am

      Oh dear…

      It seems you are very naive… Thailand is rather number 2 or even first on death toll on the road, they DO drive like crazy, not seeing any accidents doesn’t mean they are good driver…. Far to be careful, especially motorbikes I’ve seen myself countless reckless driving or even dead people on the road… Sad to say but Thailand as a lot to improve on this, and, as some comment below, I still don’t understand 10 years later why the hell they are always in a hurry, while quite “slow” in normal everyday life…


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