The 2014 edition of Injury Facts from the National Safety Council revealed the greatest safety threats facing Americans today, as well as some surprising statistics.
“For almost a century, Injury Facts has been a watchdog publication, warning Americans about the incidents that can cause the most harm,” said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at NSC. “Injury Facts is a valuable tool to help leaders in business, government, public health, safety and the media understand that injury data are a necessary step to reducing injuries and fatalities and making our world safer for all.”
And reduce costs: The cost of unintentional injuries to Americans and their employers exceeds $793 billion nationally and are paid in the form of taxes, insurance premiums, medical costs, property damage, lost wages and productivity. The emotional toll causes great suffering for families and loved ones.
“Dramatic events like homicides and natural disasters headline the news every night,” said Deborah Hersman, NSC president and CEO. Yet every four minutes, someone in the United States dies from an unintentional injury; That’s 120,000 people a year. Sixty-seven percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States are due to unintentional causes, compared to just 9 percent for homicide.
Related photo galleries: "Falls Just Waiting to Happen" and "The 10 Most Dangerous Jobs (and What Makes Them So Dangerous)."
The top three causes of unintentional injury in this country are poisoning, motor vehicle crashes and falls. An estimated 36,900 deaths in 2012 were due to poisoning, with a large majority of these attributed to the recent epidemic of prescription drug abuse; 45 people die every day from unintentional overdoses on prescription pain relievers. According to 2012 estimates, motor vehicle crashes resulted in 36,300 deaths, with 26 percent of all crashes estimated to involve cell phone use while driving. Finally, approximately 27,800 deaths in 2012 can be attributed to falls, with seven out of ten of these deaths affecting adults over 74 years of age.
“These statistics are not just numbers, they are our family members,” said Hersman. “This … is a call for everyone to make simple changes to prevent tragedy in your home or car. Properly store your medications, put down your phone when you drive and use slip-resistant mats on your floors. These small changes can make a huge difference.”
This photo gallery examines the more surprising statistics in the 2014 edition...