NSC: Americans Now More Likely to Die of Accidental Opioid Overdose than Motor Vehicle Crash

NSC: Americans Now More Likely to Die of Accidental Opioid Overdose than Motor Vehicle Crash

The odds of dying accidentally from an opioid overdose have risen to one in 96, surpassing the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash (one in 103), according to analysis by the National Safety Council.

For the first time in U.S. history, a person is more likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash, according to analysis by the National Safety Council. The organization unveiled the analysis on Injury Facts.

The odds of dying accidentally from an opioid overdose have risen to one in 96, surpassing the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash (one in 103), NSC reported. The rising opioid death statistic is fueled by the opioid crisis, which the influx of illicit and potent fentanyl is worsening.

"We've made significant strides in overall longevity in the United States, but we are dying from things typically called accidents at rates we haven't seen in half a century," said Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at NSC. "We cannot be complacent about 466 lives lost every day. This new analysis reinforces that we must consistently prioritize safety at work, at home, and on the road to prevent these dire outcomes."

The NSC analysis also shows that falls are more likely to result in death than ever before. Falls are the third leading cause of preventable death. Lifetime odds of dying from an accidental fall are one in 114, an increase from one in 119 last year.

After heart disease and cancer, the third-leading cause of death is preventable injuries, which claimed an unprecedented 169,936 lives in 2017.

The council's complete Odds of Dying From … list and other information about leading causes of preventable death can be found at injuryfacts.nsc.org.

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