Overview

Since its founding in 1913, the National Safety Council has collected, analyzed and reported preventable injury and fatality statistics. NSC published the first comprehensive collection of this data in the early 1920s, and has published it annually as Injury Facts ® (formerly Accident Facts) ever since.

Injury Facts serves as a crucial measure of progress made in preventing deaths and injuries, as well as a guide that informs the new data we receive.

In this section, you will find data on the causes, frequency and costs of preventable injuries and how they affect us by age, sex and race.

You also can measure the odds of dying from these events against other causes.

 

WHERE WE’VE BEEN, WHERE WE’RE HEADED

For too long, preventable deaths and injuries have been called “accidents,” implying unavoidable acts of God or fate that we are powerless to stop. This is simply not true. NSC believes that together we can – and will – eliminate preventable deaths in our lifetime.

But there is much work to do. In the U.S., preventable injuries are at an all-time high, ranking as the third leading cause of death behind heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease.

Preventable Injury-Related Deaths

0

in 2017

0

in 2016

0

year-over-year increase

0

in 2017

0

in 1992

0

increase over 25 years

The number of non-fatal, preventable injuries is even more staggering. In 2017, 47.2 million – about 1 in 7 – sought medical attention.

The death rate in 2017 was 52.2 per 100,000 population – a 4.6% increase over 2016 and a 54% increase over 1992 (the lowest rate on record, 34.0 per 100,000).

Comparing 2017 to 2016, home and public deaths experienced large increases of 6% or more, while work and motor-vehicle held steady with changes of less than +/-0.5%.

The increases in home and public deaths were largely driven by a 11% increase in poisoning deaths (including opioid overdoses) and a 5% increase in fall deaths (primarily among the older population).

  • Chart
  • Data Table

All preventable injuries, 2017

Class Deaths Change from 2014 Deaths per 100,000 people Medically consulted injuries (a)
All classes (b) 169,936 5.3% 52.2 47,200,000
Motor vehicle 40,231 -0.2% 12.4 4,600,000
   Public nonwork 38,210 4,400,000
   Work 1,821 200,000
   Home 200 (c)
Work 4,414 0.3% 1.4 4,500,000
   Non-motor vehicle 2,593 4,300,000
   Motor vehicle 1,821 200,000
Home 90,200 6.0% 27.7 25,300,000
   Non-motor vehicle 90,000 25,300,000
   Motor vehicle 200 (c)
Public 37,100 10.4% 11.4 13,000,000


(a) The totals shown are approximations based on the National Safety Council’s analysis of National Health Interview Survey results that is conducted by NCHS. The totals are the best estimates for the current year. They should not, however, be compared with totals shown in previous editions of this book to indicate year-to-year changes or trends. See the Glossary for definitions and the Technical Appendix for estimating procedures.
(b) Deaths and injuries above for the four separate classes add to more than the “All classes” figures due to rounding and because some deaths and injuries are included in more than one class. For example, 1,821 work deaths involved motor vehicles and are in both the work and motor-vehicle totals, and 200 motor-vehicle deaths occurred on home premises and are in both home and motor vehicle. The total of such duplication amounted to about 2,021 deaths and 200,000 injuries in 2017.
(c) Less than 10,000.

Source: National Safety Council estimates (rounded) are based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics, state departments of health, and state traffic authorities, except for the work figures, which are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. NSC adopted the CFOI count for work-related preventable injuries beginning with the 1992 data. Visit the Glossary and the Technical Appendix for estimating procedures. Beginning with 1999 data, deaths are classified according to the 10th version of the International Classification of Diseases. Caution should be used in comparing data classified under the two systems.

  • Chart
  • Data Table

All preventable injuries, 2017

Class Deaths Change from 2016 Deaths per 100,000 people Medically consulted injuries (a)
All classes (b) 169,936 5.3% 52.2 47,200,000
Motor vehicle 40,231 -0.2% 12.4 4,600,000
   Public nonwork 38,210 4,400,000
   Work 1,821 200,000
   Home 200 (c)
Work 4,414 0.3% 1.4 4,500,000
   Non-motor vehicle 2,593 4,300,000
   Motor vehicle 1,821 200,000
Home 90,200 6.0% 27.7 25,300,000
   Non-motor vehicle 90,000 25,300,000
   Motor vehicle 200 (c)
Public 37,100 10.4% 11.4 13,000,000


(a) The totals shown are approximations based on the National Safety Council’s analysis of National Health Interview Survey results that is conducted by NCHS. The totals are the best estimates for the current year. They should not, however, be compared with totals shown in previous editions of this book to indicate year-to-year changes or trends. See the Glossary for definitions and the Technical Appendix for estimating procedures.
(b) Deaths and injuries above for the four separate classes add to more than the “All classes” figures due to rounding and because some deaths and injuries are included in more than one class. For example, 1,821 work deaths involved motor vehicles and are in both the work and motor-vehicle totals, and 200 motor-vehicle deaths occurred on home premises and are in both home and motor vehicle. The total of such duplication amounted to about 2,021 deaths and 200,000 injuries in 2017.
(c) Less than 10,000.

Source: National Safety Council estimates (rounded) are based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics, state departments of health, and state traffic authorities, except for the work figures, which are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. NSC adopted the CFOI count for work-related preventable injuries beginning with the 1992 data. Visit the Glossary and the Technical Appendix for estimating procedures. Beginning with 1999 data, deaths are classified according to the 10th version of the International Classification of Diseases. Caution should be used in comparing data classified under the two systems.