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National Safety Council Statement on New CDC Data Showing a Rise in Accidental Death

Press Release from National Safety Council

ITASCA, Ill., Nov. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Safety Council is grieving over the new CDC data showing the number of deaths from unintentional, preventable injuries – commonly known as "accidents" – rose 5.3 percent between 2016 and 2017. Preventable deaths have now reached their highest number in recorded U.S. history – 169,936. Of the three leading causes, preventable injuries was the only category to experience an increase, largely driven by the opioid crisis. An American is killed accidentally every three minutes – by a drug overdose, a motor vehicle crash, a fall, a drowning, a choking incident or another preventable occurrence.

The mission of the National Safety Council is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. (PRNewsFoto/National Safety Council) (PRNewsfoto/National Safety Council)

NSC analysis of the unintentional, preventable injury data shows:

Type of Preventable Death

2016

2017

Change

Percent Change

Poisoning (including drug overdose)

58,335

64,795

6,460

11.10%

Motor-vehicle

40,327

40,231

-96

-0.20%

Falls

34,673

36,338

1,665

4.80%

Suffocation by ingestion, inhalation

4,829

5,216

387

8.00%

Drowning

3,786

3,709

-77

-2.00%

Fires, flames, smoke

2,730

2,812

82

3.00%

Mechanical suffocation

1,781

1,730

-51

-2.90%

Natural heat, cold

1,189

1,269

80

6.70%

Struck by, against

790

806

16

2.00%

Machinery

610

572

-38

-6.20%

Firearms

495

486

-9

-1.80%

Water transportation

492

466

-26

-5.30%

Rail transportation

421

439

18

4.30%

Air transportation

407

385

-22

-5.40%

Electric current

260

254

-6

-2.30%

Transport residual

1,401

1,503

102

7.30%

Nontransport residual

8,848

8,925

77

0.90%

Total

161,374

169,936

8,562

5.30%

For years, the United States has accepted unintentional injuries as an unavoidable reality. These data show us that our collective complacency costs us 466 lives every day. The truth is, there is no such thing as an accident. We know what to do to save lives, but as a nation, we have not consistently prioritized safety at work, at home and on the road.

If our country does not act, more people will die, and our fight to Stop Everyday Killers will become even more difficult.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

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