Across the United States, a disturbing trend is on the rise. According to a study done by the National Safety Council, accidental deaths are increasing across the country. However, the reason behind this rise in accidental deaths is both surprising, and alarming. The rise isn’t caused by car accidents, but instead by a spike in drug overdoses, as well as a large number of falls. The report showed that over 136,000 people died due to accidental causes in 2014.
Accidental Deaths, Analyzed
Some claim that an opioid and heroin epidemic is to blame. The data in the study showed that of the 136,000 deaths in 2014, over 42,000 were related to either overdose or an accidental poisoning. Historically, the higher causes of death were from automobile accidents. In 1980 there were over 53,000 deaths from auto accidents. By comparison, the roughly 35,000 auto accident deaths in 2014 are a drastic decrease, though this figure still makes up a large portion of accidental deaths.
Also heavily on the rise were deaths from fall incidents. In 1992, deaths from falls totalling at just under 10,000. In the study of 2014’s data, however, there were nearly 32,000 deaths from these falls. Analysts suggested that these accidental deaths were likely on the rise due to an aging baby boomer population, and also the fact that the more senior population is living longer in general. The elderly population is at a greater risk of death from accidental falls, and because the populace is living longer, there are more people within that group.
Although these accidental death statistics seem to take a very “matter of fact” approach, the agency that studies these deaths has a different purpose than just tallying up the numbers.
The National Safety Council
The National Safety Council, the center responsible for the study, is an organization dedicated to advocating for safety, and has existed for over a century. The organization collects data across the county regarding safety issues, and as seen in the news report, deaths. The NSC also seeks to propose campaigns and solutions to safety issues that are affecting the populace, such as National Safety Month, or Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Moreover, the agency itself presents analyses of the studies they generate and work to present solutions to reduce these accidental deaths.
Particularly regarding the data from their most recent study, NSC statistics manager Ken Kolosch, has said that these accidents were “all preventable” and that people can take greater steps and care into their actions throughout the day, and that not all accidents are always the result of the victim. Kolosch proposed that through greater societal and governmental efforts, the number of accidental deaths can decrease. With more agencies like the National Safety Council at the forefront of accident prevention and raising awareness of issues, the next time a study of accidental deaths is done, we may see smaller numbers.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of another’s negligence, contact attorneys Gilman & Bedigian today.