The first three days of Thailand’s “dangerous” holiday period saw 186 people killed and more than 1,600 injured on the kingdom’s roads and highway.
Even as the country grappled with a growing tsunami of coronavirus cases, Thais traveled across the country, potentially carrying Covid-19 from hotspots in Chonburi, Rayong, Bangkok and Samut Sakhon to less-affected provinces in the North, Northeast and South. Many of them never made it to their destiantions.
New Year’s Eve saw 652 accidents and 67 deaths with 642 people injured. From Dec. 29-31, totals are 1,652 accidents with 186 deaths and 1,654 injured.
Ignoramuses, coronavirus deniers and simple idiots will jump on those stats, pointing out that the death totals for three days are three times what Thailand has suffered during the nine-month coronavirus pandemic. That tired analogy has been proven wrong so many times, yet continues to be repeated.
First, traffic fatalities are not growing at exponential rates. In fact, in Thaialnd and worldwide, they are decreasing. Second, those armchair experts are using different measures of risk for Covid-19 and traffic fatalities. And lastly, no one with a heart and brain would say that the current level of traffic fatalities is acceptable and that it shouldn’t be reduced.
Road fatalities rates are computed on the basis of population mortality the estimation of the chances that a person in Thailand’s entire population will die in a traffic accident. Or they’re based on the number vehicle kilometers traveled, which continues to increase each year.
Fatality rates for Covid-19 are, in contrast, case fatality rates computed as the number of people who died from the disease divided by number of confirmed cases.
So stop comparing them. Both are crises that need to be address, but they and their cures have no relationship or priority to each other.
As for Thailand’s holiday driving deaths, the most common cause again was drunk driving at 38 percent, followed by speeding at 34 percent. Chiang Mai reported the most accidents with 63 while Nakhon Ratchasima had the most deaths at 13.
Any Facebook comments comparing traffic and Covid-related deaths will be deleted with users potentially banned from commenting. Twitter deniers will be blocked.