Accidental Death Stats Show Overdoses, Distracted Driving are Leading Causes
A new report shows that poisonings from drug overdoses and distracted driving are the leading causes of accidental death among working age adults in the United States.
In half of the poisoning cases, prescription drugs led to the overdose, according to the National Safety Council.
The report also showed that in younger people, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death, especially from distracted driving related to cell phone use.
Among adults 65 years and older, falls were the leading cause of death. The number of accidental deaths due to falls in older adults rose 112% since 1999.
Injury deaths increased 3.2% from 2012, primarily related to the drug overdose and car crashes due to distracted driving. Drug overdose accident deaths began to rise in 1993 among adults ages 30 to 40. Poisoning related to drug overdoses is now also the leading cause of fall injuries among working aged adults, 25-64. In 18 states and Washington DC, poisoning is the leading cause of death in adults.
“Heroin death also appears to be increasing, and we will be tracking that as well,” said Ken Kolosh, statistics manager for the National Safety Council.
The report found that teenagers and young adults seem to suffer fewer drug overdoses, but are involved in more car crashes caused by distracted driving, from cell phones or other causes.
According to the report, 7,800 people aged 5 to 24 died in traffic accidents in 2010.
“These issues are more related to driver inexperience” than driving drunk or drugged, Kolosh said. Distracted driving led to 46% of the accidental deaths in car crashes, while “poor decisions” like driving too fast or following too closely made up 40% of the accidental deaths in car crashes.
Cell phone use accounted for 26% of the distracted driving accidental deaths, with 5% of those involving texting while driving, and another 21% involving handheld or handsfree cell phone conversations. Nearly 1,900 young drivers died in car crashes that they caused in 2012.
Accident-Related Injuries and Accidental Death Law in South Carolina
An accident can happen in a split second and leave you with lost wages, mounting medical bills, and permanent impairment.
Depending upon the severity of your accident-related injuries, you may be entitled to an award of the costs for future medical care. Damages awarded for the pain someone suffers can be for both physical and mental pain, as well as for emotional anguish in the event of the accidental death of a loved one.
Pain and suffering is the term used for damages designed to compensate someone for his or her injuries that are physical and emotional in nature. This is contrasted with out of pocket damages like lost wages and medical bills.
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where it is shown that a person engaged in malicious or reckless conduct. In such cases, it is sometimes argued that the accident victim was deprived of his or her statutory rights.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Accidental Death Cases
Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, you may have a wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800