Unintentional, preventable injuries, commonly referred to as accidents, have reached epidemic levels in the past few years. According to the National Safety Council, accidents have become the third leading cause of death in the U.S. for the first time in recorded history. In 2016 alone, a total of 161,374 people died accidentally. The 10 percent increase from 2015 is the largest year-over-year rise in preventable deaths since 1936.
Based on the recent data, one unintentional injury happens every second, and one accidental death occurs every three minutes. Injuries from falls, car crashes, poisonings, drownings, choking, and accidental overdoses are caused by negligence and failure to prioritize safety on the roads, at work, and at home.
Common Preventable Injuries
Every year, millions of people are left with substantial emotional, physical, and financial complications as a result of preventable injuries. Accidents affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. Common unintentional injuries include:
The dramatic rise in the number of preventable injuries has been fueled by the opioid crisis. Overdose on opioid and other prescription pain relievers resulted in 37,814 deaths. Almost all drugs involved in overdoses are validly prescribed but many make their way to addicts, creating dependence on the drugs’ euphoric effects.
A single day never passes without auto accidents happening and causing injuries. Many of these accidents are caused by motorists who fail to drive cautiously and with reasonable care. Negligence on the road can be attributed to behavior such as speeding, distracted driving, DUI, violating traffic rules, drowsy driving, running a stop sign, and running a red light.
Slip and fall accidents
Trips, slips, and falls often occur as a result of wet floors and surfaces, cracks in the sidewalk, loose or frayed carpeting, exposed cords, uneven flooring, and poorly constructed surfaces. These can be traced back to poor maintenance and the failure to inspect and correct hazards on a property.
An average of 3,5835 fatal unintentional drownings are reported annually in the U.S. Many other victims receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries. The majority of drowning cases are attributed to the inability to swim, panic in the water, failure to wear life jackets, leaving children unattended, unsupervised water access, alcohol use, and seizure disorders.