Preventable Fatal Accidents at “All Time High” Per 2017 NSC Injury Facts Report

Preventable Fatal Accidents at “All Time High” Per 2017 NSC Injury Facts Report

Over in Itasca, Illinois, researchers at the National Safety Council (NSC) are dedicated to discovering the reasons people in Indiana, Illinois, and the rest of this country are injured or killed in accidents.

The NSC compiles its findings into an annual “Injury Facts” publication.   Last week, the 2017 edition was released.  And with it, a shocking revelation: fatal accidents are at “all time high” in this country.

What is the National Safety Council?

The NSC  is a private, non-profit organization established in 1913.  Since its inception, Illinois’ NSC has worked to promote health and safety for Americans at work, at home, or on the road.  It is not affiliated with any political party or group and is not a governmental agency or affiliate.

The NSC is made up of members that pay dues to support its efforts.  These include individuals, school districts, businesses, labor unions, and more.  Its research efforts and work toward a safer America is well-respected.

This means the 2017 Injury Facts Report is to be considered accurate and a grave warning to all of us in Indiana and Illinois. The danger of a fatal accident has never been higher than it is right now.

NSC Reports Fatal Accidents “At All Time High”

The NSC describes its Injury Facts report as “the definitive annual publication for preventable deaths and injuries in the United States for nearly 100 years.”  And this month, it released its annual publication with this warning:

Preventable deaths – commonly known as “accidents” – have reached an all-time high, with 146,571 Americans dying in 2015 from causes such as drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, falls, choking and drowning.  The number of people killed in preventable incidents trails only heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease, and outpaces strokes, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Unintentional Injuries Are Killing Lots of People

Exactly what are we talking about here?  The NSC is warning about accidents – incidents and events that seriously and fatally harm their victims, and which could have been avoided and prevented.

Unintentional injuries in an accident are the 4th leading cause of death in the United States today.

In other words, the very type of accident that forms the basis of personal injury law and wrongful death claims here in Indiana and Illinois.  Things like:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Semi-truck crashes
  • Train Crashes
  • Defective Products
  • Sports Concussions
  • Construction Injuries
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Product Liability
  • Falls on the Job Site
  • Medical Errors
  • Health Provider Malpractice.

This correlates with numbers released earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  While the CDC was optimistic insofar as a decline in fatalities resulting from health issues like cardiac arrest and stroke in the United States, its independent research findings also found a huge increase in the number of fatal accidents in this country.

From the CDC:

“… potentially preventable deaths from unintentional injuries increased 23 percent (largely due to deaths from drug poisoning and falls).”

Will The Powers That Be Heed This Warning?

In a Forbes op-ed piece published this month, entitled “Accidental Deaths And Injuries Are At An All-Time High As Are Their Costs,” and written by contributors Cheryl and Christopher Jensen, the discussion focuses not upon the horrific result that each of these “preventable accidents” has upon the family and loved ones of those deceased victims, but upon the economic impact of this “all-time high” in the number of accidental deaths.

They point to economic costs, such as an annual estimated cost to the U.S. economy of $886.4 Billion Dollars each year due to these preventable accidents.  Their issue: every American pays a part of that price tag, from higher prices to increased taxation.

So, will the fact that so many people are dying in accidents change now that it’s having such a huge impact on the national economy?

We’ve discussed and warned before that it is the attitude of employers, hospitals, doctors, coaches, caretakers, and more to put “profits over people” that cause accident victims harm.  Keeping workers, customers, consumers, guests, students, athletes, etc., safe often means incurring costs those in charge deem too expensive for their bottom line and profit margin.

For example, just last week we discussed reduced safety on the work site because safety concerns that cost too much means construction workers are at risk of serious injury or death while on the job.

So, it’s ironic now that more people are dying – not just getting hurt or severely injured, but being killed – in accidents, that suddenly money may be the incentive to create safer environments for those living and working here in Indiana and Illinois.

We’ll see.

From NSC Injury Facts author Ken Kolosh: “Good data help us make good decisions, and Injury Facts® gives us a road map for eliminating preventable deaths in our lifetime.  We hope government officials, business leaders, safety professionals and anyone working to make the world a safer place will use Injury Facts® to shape decision making and inform injury prevention efforts.”


Preventable deaths where people die in an accident that could have been avoided are horrific tragedies.  These things should not happen, and they are often caused by the negligence and profit-motives of those in charge.

You and your loved ones have never faced a greater risk of a fatal accident here in Illinois and Indiana.  Let’s Be Careful Out There!

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