Saigoneer

Back Stories » Vietnam » Vietnam Sees Sharp Drop in Traffic Accidents in January Compared to 2019

Vietnam Sees Sharp Drop in Traffic Accidents in January Compared to 2019

During the four weeks leading up to Tet, the number of traffic accidents plummeted across Vietnam, a positive sign considering those also made up the country’s busiest period.

The Ministry of Public Security’s Traffic Police Department and the Vietnam Maritime Administration released statistics relating to accidents in Vietnam in January, VietnamPlus reports.

According to official data, during the first month of 2020, 726 traffic accidents occurred in Vietnam, killing 526 people and injuring 450 others. On average, 24.9 accidents happened a day in January, which was 51.6% fewer than the daily average for the entire 2019.

Fewer accidents also happened this Tet compared to last year’s: 198 traffic accidents occurred in 2020, a 10.8% decrease compared the seven days of 2019’s Tet holiday. The number of victims also decreased.

There are a few factors that could have given rise to the optimistic statistics, but some experts are pointing to the latest laws on drink-driving as a major contributing factor.

The stringent regulations officially took effect on January 1, with traffic police settling down in drinking hot spots across the country to conduct breath tests. Under the updated alcohol consumption law, any amount of alcohol detected while driving can result in a hefty fine and license revocation.

According to some healthcare facilities, the strict law has proven effective. Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi and Cho Ray Hospital in Saigon both reported that during this year’s Tet holiday, alcohol-related accidents dropped by almost 75% compared to 2019.

Apart from the number of traffic accidents, the drunk driving law has also affected beer sales in Vietnam, which saw a 25% decrease in January. The figure is significant considering that typically periods leading to Tet are the most lucrative for alcohol brands. The Financial Times reports that Heineken has been hit particularly hard by this. Vietnam creates around 5% of the giant's global sales and around 12% of its earnings, but sales have dropped by an estimated quarter.