By: Xinhua News, February 5, 2017
VIENTIANE， Feb. 5 (Xinhua) - A total of 97 people were killed while 992 others sustained injuries in traffic accidents in Laos in the first month of 2017， according to the Traffic Police Department of Lao Ministry of Public Security on Sunday.
Lieutenant Colonel Keomala Sengthong， a senior official at the department said 553 road accidents happened in the country in January， in which 1，020 vehicles were damaged， and the cost of damage amounted to almost 8 billion Lao kip (over 979，000 U.S. dollars).
Of those injured， 165 were left in a critical condition， 381 were seriously hurt and 446 people were slightly injured. Meanwhile， 29 vehicles were written off， 500 sustained moderate damage and 491 vehicles sustained minor damage.
Keomala said most of the accidents occurred as the result of drunk driving and over-speeding. Almost 70 percent of accidents occurred on weekends with most taking place between 5:00 p.m. and midnight.
Capital Vientiane ranked first with highest number of accidents among localities. There were 153 accidents， 26 fatalities， and 169 people were injured in Vientiane in January.
Vientiane was followed by southern Champassak province with 71 accidents including eight fatalities.