NSC Statement on Decline in Accidental Deaths

NSC Statement on Decline in Accidental Deaths

NSC Statement on Decline in Accidental Deaths

CDC numbers are encouraging, but the only acceptable number is zero.

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council is cautiously optimistic with new CDC data showing the number of deaths from unintentional, preventable injuries – commonly known as “accidents” – decreased 1.7% in 2018 compared to 2017, when numbers reached an all-time high. Additionally, NSC is pleased to see that life expectancy increased for the first time in three years, in part because of drops in preventable deaths. Despite these encouraging statistics, preventable injuries still remain the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer, with 167,127 reported in 2018.

Any decline in deaths is promising, but the only acceptable number is zero. Too many people are losing their lives due to causes that are completely unnecessary and unnatural. The new CDC data indicates the nation’s collective complacency costs more than 457 lives on a typical day because of drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, choking incidents or other preventable occurrences.

NSC analysis of the unintentional, preventable injury data shows:

Cause of Death

2017

2018

Difference

Percent Change

Poisoning (including drug overdose)

64,795

62,399

-2,396

-3.7%

Motor-vehicle

40,231

39,404

-827

-2.1%

Falls

36,338

37,455

1,117

3.1%

Suffocation by ingestion, inhalation

5,216

5,084

-132

-2.5%

Drowning

3,709

3,710

1

0.0%

Fires, flames, smoke

2,812

2,972

160

5.7%

Mechanical suffocation

1,730

1,617

-113

-6.5%

Natural heat, cold

1,269

1,543

274

21.6%

Struck by, against

806

816

10

1.2%

Machinery

572

525

-47

-8.2%

Firearms

486

458

-28

-5.8%

Water transportation

466

444

-22

-4.7%

Rail transportation

439

451

12

2.7%

Air transportation

385

372

-13

-3.4%

Electric current

254

320

66

26.0%

Transport residual

1,503

1,361

-142

-9.4%

Nontransport residual

8,925

8,196

-729

-8.2%

Total

169,936

167,127

-2,809

-1.7%

Unintentional injuries are not an unavoidable reality. Consistently prioritizing safety at work, on the road and at home can go a long way toward protecting those we love. If we all make safety a personal commitment, we can continue to lower the number of preventable deaths and live our fullest lives.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council 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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