The National Safety Council in Chicago has released the 2014 edition of Injury Facts which details safety statistics and trends across the United States.
Among the more surprising statistics in the 2014 edition:
• Poisonings, including those from unintentional opioid prescription painkiller overdoses, were the leading cause of death in 18 states and Washington, D.C. The increase in fatalities corresponds with the national increase in deaths from drug poisonings, including those involving prescription painkillers.
• Cellphone use is now estimated to be involved in 26 per cent of all motor vehicle crashes – up from the previous year.
•An estimated five per cent of cellphone-related crashes involve texting, while 21 per cent involve drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cellphones.
•In 2012, the number of teen motor vehicle occupant deaths decreased, but motor vehicle crashes remain the number 1 cause of death for teens.
•Unintentional injuries cost more than US$790 billion annually.
• The most costly lost-time workers’ compensation claims are those involving injuries to the head or central nervous system.
•The number of elder adult falls has risen 112 per cent since 1999.
•Motor vehicle deaths in 2012 were at their lowest level in February and at their highest in July.
•The three-day period around New Year’s Day was the holiday period with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired driving deaths.
“For almost a century, Injury Facts has been a watchdog publication, warning Americans about the incidents that can cause the most harm,” said John Ulczycki, vice-president of strategic initiatives at NSC. “Injury Facts is a valuable tool to help leaders in business, government, public health, safety and the media understand that injury data are a necessary step to reducing injuries and fatalities and making our world safer for all.”