Opioid Overdoses Surpass Car Accident FatalitiesPublished: Mar 20, 2019 in Auto Accident, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury
A new study from the National Safety Council (NSC) found that for the first time on record, Americans are at greater risk of dying from an opioid overdose than in a car accident. The study analyzed federal and state statistics on preventable injuries and fatalities from 2017. The odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose was found to be one in 96, while the odds of a car crash are one in 103. The results of the study also show that the risk for a fatal opioid fatality is greater than the risk of suffering fatal injuries from falls, pedestrian incidents, drowning, or fires.
Overdoses Affecting the U.S. Life Expectancy Rate
As the number of fatal overdoses in the U.S. rises, the life expectancy rate is declining. Anyone born in 2017 can expect to live an average of 79.8 years, however, the life expectancy for babies born a year earlier in 2016 is 1.2 months longer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last December that there were 70,237 fatalities from drug overdoses, mainly from opioids. That averages out to 130 American fatalities every day. A recent study published in JAMA Network Open says that a growing number of these are pediatric fatalities. Fatal opioid overdoses for youths have nearly tripled from 1999 to 2016.
The spokesman for the NSC said that it is important for Americans to understand the biggest risks to safety. The study’s results are not intended to scare people, but rather to help them make safer decisions concerning their longevity by realizing where true danger lies. Preventable injuries are on an upward trend in the United States, having increased by 96 percent since 1992. From 2016 to 2017, there was an 11 percent increase in poisoning fatalities, including those from opioid overdoses.
Synthetic opioids and illegally manufactured fentanyl are significant factors in the increases in drug overdose fatalities. Heroin was the drug responsible for the most overdose fatalities until 2016, when fentanyl surpassed it. The leading cause of fatality in the U.S. in 2018 was not cancer or heart disease, but unintentional injury. Most of these fatalities are from unintentional poisonings and motor vehicle accidents. Statistics from 2016 show that there were nearly twice as many fatalities from unintentional injuries than from cancer and heart disease combined.
The NSC hopes that presenting the data in this way will make the danger of the opioid crisis in America less abstract and illustrate how many people are dying every day. The council also strives to show that something can be done about the high number of fatalities that result from preventable causes.
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If you or someone you know has suffered injuries from negligent medical care, you may be eligible for compensation. At The Cates Law Firm, LLC, our St. Clair County medical malpractice lawyers can help you determine the best legal strategy for your circumstances. Call us today at 618-277-3644 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation. From our office in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout the state, including the communities of Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.