According to National Safety Council Injury Facts 2017, about 146,571 people died from unintentional injury-related deaths in 2015. That's 146,571 times someone's ordinary day turned tragic.
Unintentional deaths are at an all-time high. Often, these tragedies happen when least expected – while doing simple chores at home, while on vacation, or simply driving across town – and sadly, mostly avoidable. The National Safety Council encourages everyone to be aware of hazards related to leisure and recreational activities and take proper safety precautions. Below are a list of top causes of unintentional injury and death in our homes and our communities.
In 2011, poisonings overtook motor vehicle crashes for the first time as the leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death for all ages combined. Gases, chemicals, and other substances cause poisoning deaths; however, prescription drug overdose is the leading cause. Every year, poison control centers receive about 2.2 million calls from people seeking help from accidental poisoning.
#2: Motor Vehicle Crashes
Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death. Driving under the influence, distracted driving, speeding and inexperienced drivers are all factors that lead to the #1 cause of death for children and young adults ages 5 to 24, the #2 cause of death for adults 25+ and for toddlers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. They are also the #1 cause of workplace fatalities.
In 2015 more than 33,000 people died in falls. This is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death across all age groups, but it's the #1 cause of death for those 65 and older, according to Injury Facts 2017. Aging itself, is not the cause of falls. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided the following Fall Facts:
#4: Choking and Suffocation
Suffocation is the 4th leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for all age groups, choking on food or other objects is the primary cause. While suffocation is the 2nd leading cause of unintentional injury death for people 87 and older, mechanical suffocation is the #1 cause of death for infants. Mechanical suffocation means the infant loses the ability to breathe due to smothering or strangulation by bed clothes, plastic bags or similar materials. Learn more about sleep safety and suffocation prevention at SafeKids.org.
Excluding boating accidents, nearly 10 people drown every day. It's the 5th leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death across all ages, and the #1 cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, primarily due to infants and toddlers falling into pools or left unattended in bathtubs. The importance of water safety cannot be overstated. According to an American Red Cross survey, only 56% of adults who say they can swim are able to perform five critical water-safety skills that could save their lives.
These skills include:
For a printable list of best practices and Tips for Child and Adult drowning prevention click here.