Accidents happen—so much so that they rank as the number one cause of death for those between the ages of one and 42. Accidents are the fifth leading cause of death across all age groups, topped only by serious illnesses including cancer and heart disease. While most people conjure up images of electricians or window washers succumbing to fatal accidents, statistics shows that the majority of accidental deaths occur in homes or communities.
The following is a list of the top 10 most common causes of accidental deaths, designed to increase your understanding of the dangers and help you stay safe:
- Motor vehicle accidents—car accidents are the leading cause of accidental deaths nationwide. Over 45,000 individuals are killed each year in car accidents. While the increase in the use of safety belts and child safety restraint devices has led to fewer automobile accident fatalities, the numbers are still astounding. In Mississippi, in particular, car accident rates are alarmingly high and the number of child victims far exceeds the national average.
- Falls—over 25,000 individuals die from falls each year. While deaths due to falls are often associated with the elderly, fatal falls can occur to those of all ages. Falls commonly occur in homes, outdoors, and in public places.
- Poisonous liquids or solids—poisoning kills almost 40,000 people a year, with most deaths associated with accidental ingestion of illegal drugs. The number of poisoning deaths has risen almost 400 percent in the past 20 years. While drugs account for the majority of poisoning deaths, deaths also occur among children who ingest poisonous cleaning solutions or medicines.
- Fires—annually, fires claim the lives of over 2,500 individuals. Deaths due to residential fires dropped to a five year low in 2009, but the number of deaths a year remains fairly high. Smoking is one of the leading causes of residential fires.
- Choking—choking killed around 2,500 people in 2009 and children under the age of three are at the highest risk. Choking hazards include hard candies, grapes, nuts, chewing gum, carrots, balloons, small toys, and hot dogs.
- Suffocation—deaths by suffocation are on the rise, up approximately a third during the past decade. It is estimated that suffocation claims the lives of up to 3,300 individuals a year. Most suffocation victims are children, and the CDC urges parents to make sure their children’s faces are not covered while sleeping and loose bedding is kept out of cribs.
- Firearms—over 1,500 individual a year are killed accidently by guns. Recent reports have revealed that this rate may actually be much higher. Accidental firearm deaths among children are frequently not recorded as accidents, skewing reputed death rates. While gun laws are a much debated topic, all can agree that weapons should be safely stored away from children.
- Poisonous gas—inhaling poisonous gases leads to over 700 deaths a year. The most common gas killers include fuel, natural gas, and propane.
- Medical malpractice—this is one of the scariest killers, claiming the lives of hundreds of individuals each year. While we trust doctors and other medical professionals with our medical care, all too often mistakes are made that lead to deaths.
- Drowning—each day, approximately 10 people die from unintentional drowning. About a third of these victims are children under the age of 14. Lack of swimming ability and failure to wear a life jacket are two of the leading causes of accidental drowning.
The Giddens Law Firm has been helping the victims of all manner of accidents for over 20 years. If you have been injured in an accident, our expert team of personal injury attorneys will help you receive the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional harm attributable to the accident. Call us today at 601-355-2022 to start us fighting for your full recovery.