All Leading Causes of Death

Preventable Injuries: The Fourth Leading Cause of Death

Despite preventable injury-related deaths increasing 16% in 2020, the ranking dropped from the third leading cause of death in 2019 to the fourth leading cause of death. The top three leading causes of death in the United States are now:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. COVID-19

Preventable injuries continue to be the leading cause of death during the prime of life, from early childhood when kids are developing and discovering who they want to become through middle age, when adults are in the prime of their lives, enjoying career success as well as raising families and preparing for older adulthood.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Examining and understanding the data presented here will help us eliminate preventable death in our lifetime. To explore how deaths from preventable injuries are ranked by age group and sex, check out the Data Details tab.

Visit the Top 10 Preventable Injuries page to explore the leading causes of preventable injury-related death driving this increase.

  • Chart
  • Data Table

Source: National Safety Council analysis of National Center for Health Statistics – Mortality Data for 1999-2020 as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS).

See data details