Every year as the month of June rolls around I make a point to visit the National Safety Council (NSC) website to review data relating to safety statistics. The NSC site has an entire section of domestic and international injury facts and trends arranged by categories such as: All Injuries; Work; Motor Vehicle; Home and Community; and State Data. Safety matters!
Preventable Injuries at All-Time High
According to NSC, preventable injuries in the United States are at an all-time high. In 2021, 62 million Americans (about 1 in 5) sought medical attention for nonfatal preventable injury. Regarding preventable injury related deaths, it might surprise you to learn that preventable injuries rank third in the leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. NSC reports that they rose from 200,955 in 2020 to 224,935 in 2021 – an 11.9% increase. The 2021 data (224,935) shows a 159% increase over the 29-year span from 1992 (86,777).
Further comparison between 2021 and 2020 reveals an increase in the death rate across all categories.
- Overall death rate in 2021 – 67.8 per 100,000 population – 11.9% increase from 2020
- Home deaths increased 13%
- Motor vehicle deaths increased 11%
- Public deaths increased 10.5%
- Work deaths increased 8.8%
NSC has been publishing injury facts for over 100 years. From 1921 – 1998, the report was entitled “Accident Facts,” but was renamed “Injury Facts” in 1999. It was printed in physical book form until 2018. The cover art for the printed books changed with each edition, and it is interesting to see the transition that occurred from the early editions. From 1921 – 1935, the covers were very descriptive and stark in comparison to those after 1935. Note the cover from 1935, which featured a “juggernaut of accidents” rolling over the people in its path! Also note the descriptive paragraph that accompanies the illustration:
“The modern juggernaut of accidents claimed more victims in 1934 than ever before. This booklet tells the tragic story so that each one who reads will be better prepared to avoid accidents himself and to help others live safely.”
Safety matters, and this sums up the mission of NSC – that together we can, and will, eliminate preventable deaths in our lifetime. There is always the need for awareness and reinforcement of safe attitudes that lead to safe behaviors – whether at home, at work, or at play.