New CDC Data Shows Rise in Accidental Death

The National Safety Council is grieving over the new CDC data showing the number of deaths from unintentional, preventable injuries rose 5.3 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Mnet 176153 Fall Accident

Itasca, IL – 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.

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.

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