The year 2016 saw an all-time high in deaths from unintentional injuries—accidental deaths, in other words. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), unintentional injuries rank as the number three cause of death in the United States as of 2016. The NSC is dedicated to reducing the rates of accidental death and has a goal of ultimately reducing unintentional injury deaths to zero.
The overall increase in accidental deaths is part of a major spike that occurred between 2014 and 2016, in which these fatalities increased by 18.6 percent. Further, 14,803 more people died in 2016 than in 2015, for a one-year increase of 10 percent.
Accidental injuries are a constant threat for people of all ages. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to negligence, contact The Stoddard Firm. We have years of experience and can let you know if your case has a good chance of succeeding in court.
What is Causing the Increase?
The rise in overall fatalities can be traced to two major causes, both of which are preventable.
The first of these causes is the epidemic of opioid use and abuse. In 2016, there were a total of 37,814 deaths from opioid overdose. These deaths were caused by illegal drugs like heroin and illegally-produced fentanyl, but many deaths can also be traced to improper use or abuse of prescription painkillers, such as methadone and oxycodone.
Another major cause of the rise in accidental fatalities is a continuing rise in traffic deaths. The NSC found that traffic deaths rose to 40,327 in 2016, a 6.8 percent rise since the previous year. Combined, traffic fatalities and opioid overdose account for nearly half of the accidental deaths that occurred in 2016.
What Can we do to Reduce Accidental Deaths?
The NSC strives to put a face on the opioid crisis through film. With the Stop Everyday Killers campaign, the organization tells the stories of those we’ve lost through opioid prescription painkillers. The hope is that this will humanize the problem and motivate the public to demand solutions.
With its ambitious Road to Zero campaign, the NSC hopes to partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2050. This sounds like an impossible goal, but the fact is that all accidents are preventable, and with the advent of self-driving cars we have a chance to create a world without traffic deaths.
Change is possible. Visit the NSC site to get involved in making a safer future for us all.
What to do if you’ve been injured in an accident
If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, you should first seek medical attention. You should also make sure you contact authorities. If your injuries were the result of neglect by another party, you should seek legal assistance. The Stoddard Firm has years of experience handling accident injuries, and we even offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call us at 678-RESULTS.