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Americans More Likely to Die From Opioid Overdoses Than Car Accidents

January 20, 2019

A new report from the National Safety Council concludes that Americans are now more likely to die from opioid overdoses than car accidents. The opioid epidemic has removed vehicle crashes from the top five causes of death in the United States.*

The National Safety Council quantified the chances of dying in the country by collecting data from the National Center for Health Statistics during the year 2017. In addition, the researchers used data regarding population and expected lifespans from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The leading causes of death in the United States are now: Heart disease (No. 1), cancer (No. 2), chronic respiratory disease (No. 3), suicide (No. 4), and opioid overdoes (No. 5). Americans are dying from opioid overdoses at a rate of 1 in 96, whereas vehicle accidents are 1 in 103. Nearly 50,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2017.

“The nation’s opioid crisis is fueling the Council’s grim probabilities,” the National Safety Council said in a statement, “and that crisis is worsening with an influx of illicit fentanyl.” 

Overall, accidents and preventable injuries have increased during the last decade, with preventable injuries accounting for almost 170,000 deaths in 2017. 

“We’ve made significant strides in overall longevity in the United States, but we are dying from things typically called accidents at rates we haven’t seen in half a century,” said Ken Klosh, manager of statistics for the National Safety Council. “We cannot be complacent about 466 lives lost every day. This new analysis reinforces that we must consistently prioritize safety at work, at home and on the road to prevent these dire outcomes.” 

Accident News is an archive of select accidents designed to alert and educate drivers, to help them avoid the most common causes of motor vehicle crashes.  If you or a family member are injured in an accident, call Montlick & Associates 24/7 for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or use our live chat at  For more information about Montlick & Associates’ award-winning public service programs click here.  

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*This blog is intended to provide the public with news concerning serious automobile accidents and related stories. Although we are receiving this information from news organizations, sometimes initial reports are different from conclusions reached by law enforcement personnel and other organizations. Therefore, the accuracy of the content is not guaranteed. This information published here is based on information that has already been reported by a news organization, or other sources, but if it pertains to you or your family and you do not wish for it to be on our website, please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to remove it.


Category: Personal Injury

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