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Accidental Injury Now the #3 Cause of Death

Why are rates of fatal car accidents increasing nationally?

New data released by the National Safety Council suggests that the rate of accidental deaths is on the rise.  In 2016, preventable accidents claimed the lives of 161,374 individuals across the country.  Based on these numbers, we can surmise that one American is killed every three minutes by a preventable accident.  Leading the rise in accidental deaths are car accidents and drug overdoses.

The Opioid Crisis

Between 2015 and 2016, the number of people who died accidently increased by ten percent or over 14,500 deaths.  This spike is considered the largest rise in any single year since 1936.  Researchers believe that the opioid crisis has much to do with the rise in accidental deaths.  Across the country, Americans have begun using opioids like heroin, painkillers, and fentanyl at alarmingly high rates.  Overdoses are common with these potent substances.

More Fatal Car Accidents

Along with more drug use and ensuing overdoses, the significant increase in the rate of fatal car accidents has also played a large role in the climbing number of accidental deaths.    National Safety Council data reveals that roadway deaths have jumped 14 percent between 2014 and 2016.  This represents the biggest increase we have seen in 53 years.

There are many potential reasons for the rise in fatal traffic accidents.  One possibility is the ever increasing number of distracted drivers on the roadways.  Driver distraction has reached epidemic levels, with drivers commonly operating a motor vehicle while texting, using social media, and much more.  The younger generation is glued to smartphone devices, often leading to tremendous road dangers.

Distracted driving is now thought to account for up to 50 percent of all accidents.  The true figure could in fact be far higher due to underreporting of distraction related accidents.  Drivers can protect themselves from distracted drivers by driving defensively.  Anticipate that another driver may be looking down or not paying attention so that you can take swift action to avoid a crash if need be.  We can help to prevent ourselves from becoming distracted by using one of the many apps that will not allow you to use your phone while driving.  You could further consider stowing your phone in a safe spot out of reach to eliminate the temptation to use it while driving.

Posted in: Automobile Wrecks