Americans More Likely to Die From Opioid Overdoses than Car Accidents
The odds of a person in the U.S. dying of an accidental overdose are 1 in 96.
For the first time in the U.S., the odds of a person dying from an opioid overdose are greater than those of dying via a car accident, according to the National Safety Council.
The findings were based on the council’s analysis of preventable injury and fatality statistics from 2017, CNN reported. The study also found that the lifetime odds of death for an opioid overdose were greater than the risk of death from falls, pedestrian incidents, drowning and fire.
The hard-number odds of an American dying from an accidental opioid overdose are 1 in 96, according to the NSC. For motor vehicle accidents the odds were 1 in 103 and 1 in 114 for falls. The lifetime odds of suicide were greater, at 1 in 88.
“Too many people still believe the opioid crisis is abstract and will not impact them,” said National Safety Council spokeswoman Maureen Vogel. “Many still do not see it as a major threat to them or their family. These data show the gravity of the crisis. We have known for some time that opioid overdose is an everyday killer, and these odds illustrate that in a very jarring way.”
Preventable injury deaths in 2017 totaled 169,936 — an increase of 5.3% from the year before and a 96% increase compared to the figures in 1992.
“The data really underscore the importance of knowing the biggest risks to our safety,” said Vogel. “The Council calculates the Odds of Dying not to scare Americans but to empower them to make safer decisions and improve their chances of longevity.”
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