One person dies every three minutes from an unintentional accident that could have been prevented. Preventable deaths from accidental injuries have reached the highest number in U.S. history.
Preventable Deaths on the Rise
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preventable deaths from accidental injuries in the United States increased by 5.3 percent between 2016 and 2017. One person dies every three minutes from a preventable accident, accounting for the deaths of 19 people every hour and 477 victims every day.
CDC data shows most preventable deaths in America are caused by motor vehicle crashes, falls, choking, drowning, and drug overdose. Such accidents seen by many attorneys in Henderson, NV occur in public places, in the workplace, and in the home. In 2017, the highest number of deaths were caused by:
- Drug Overdose and/or Poisoning – 64,795 deaths
- Motor Vehicle Crashes – 40,231 deaths
- Falls – 36, 338 deaths
- Suffocation – 5,216 deaths
- Drowning – 3,709 deaths
- Fire and Smoke – 2,812 deaths
The opioid epidemic in America has put drug overdose and accidental poisoning at the top of the list for preventable injury deaths. Poisoning, including drug overdose, is now the number one cause of unintentional death in the United States. Every day, more than 100 people die from opioid drugs. Many of these overdoses are from opioid pain pills prescribed by a licensed physician. In 2017, overdose deaths from opioid use rose 14 percent, impacting children as young as 15 years old and male and female adults ranging from ages 25 to 60. In the United States, approximately two 2 million people have painkiller substance abuse disorders.
Motor Vehicle Crashes
In 2017, motor vehicle crashes accounted for the deaths of 40,000 people and medically-treated injuries for another 1.6 million people. A large percentage of these accidental deaths were attributed to speeding, driving while intoxicated or impaired, driving while fatigued or drowsy, and distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers and young people between the ages of 16 and 21.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Accidental falls send more than three million Americans to hospitals emergency rooms and cause over 31,000 deaths of elderly adults over the age of 65 each year. Data from the CDC and the National Safety Council shows that most of these deaths are preventable. Falls are also a leading cause of serious injury and/or death for millions of Americans in public places, at work, and at home. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), accidental falls in the workplace account for 15 percent of on-the-job deaths. Most falls in the workplace and in the home are caused by slipping on wet or uneven surfaces, climbing on unsafe ladders, and falling from heights.
Suffocation and Drowning
Children are the main victims of suffocation and drowning deaths in America. Children between the ages of one and four years suffer the most fatal injuries. Suffocation and choking deaths are commonly caused by swallowing small objects that obstruct the airway. Toys with movable parts are a leading cause of deaths. One in five children who die from drowning is under the age of 14. According to the CDC, 350 children under the age of five die in public and backyard swimming pools every year. During the summer months, attorneys in Henderson, NV see many cases of accidental drowning for young children.
Fire and Smoke
Most fire deaths are caused by smoke inhalation. Synthetic materials commonly found in commercial buildings and homes produce toxic gases when they burn. These gases penetrate the respiratory system and cause eye, lung, and digestive irritation. In some fires, toxic droplets of liquid act as a lethal poison if absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Although fires breakout in many public buildings, 80 percent of preventable fire deaths occur in private homes from cooking fires, faulty electrical and heating equipment, and smoking.
Accidents often result in serious injuries with life-long consequences or deaths for millions of people. Taking preventive measures to reduce the risks is essential for a person’s safety. Avoiding drugs, using safe driving practices, and exercising good judgment in the workplace and in the home can prevent many accidental deaths. The risk of dying from heart disease or cancer far exceeds the risks of dying from an accidental fall, drowning accident, or fire. However, the risk of dying from a drug overdose now exceeds the risk of dying from a car crash in America.