Crash fatality rate lower than fatality rate of suicide

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The car crash fatality rate is now lower than the suicide rate, among deaths caused by injury. Photo Credit: Mr Fish/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

There are many ways that people come to their end, but deaths in car crashes are becoming less frequent over time. In fact, the crash fatality rate is lower than the rate of deaths by suicide among fatalities caused by injuries.

Car crash fatality rate continues decline

If one were to consider how many ways there are to die and just how easily humans can kick the bucket, snuff it, run down the curtain and join the choir invisible or wind up pushing up the daisies, one would likely never venture out of the house again.

Getting in a car would almost be out of the question; why head to an auto loan bank and pay to drive a deathtrap when one can take the bus and be safe?

However, cars are actually getting safer, or at least fewer people are dying as a result of car crashes. A recent study by a West Virginia University epidemiology professor, published in the “American Journal of Public Health,” according to AutoBlog, found the car crash fatality rate is lower than the suicide rate.

In other words, statistically, a person is more likely to die at their own hand than behind the wheel.

Prescriptions almost as fatal as car crashes

The study, by Dr. Ian Rockett, was not a survey into trends in car crash fatalities but rather a treatise on the rising suicide rate, as AutoBlog points out. Dr. Rockett’s research examined trends in deaths from injury, finding that, among other things, the car crash fatality rate declined by 25 percent from 2000 to 2009. Likewise, the suicide rate increased by 15 percent.

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The cause of death that increased most dramatically, however, were unintentional poisonings, according to WebMD, which increased by 128 percent. Of those, 75 percent were from drugs and 74 percent of drugs responsible for an accidental poisoning were prescription drugs. A doctor is almost as dangerous as a Porsche or for that matter, a gun.

All told, suicide was found in Dr. Rockett’s paper to be the most common cause of death resulting from injuries, with roughly 37,000 people taking their lives in 2009, according to AutoGuide. Car crashes were second, with 33,808 car crash fatalities in that year. Poisoning was third most common, followed by falls and homicide.

Safety at all time paramount

The car crash fatality rate has been in decline not only for some time. A record low number of car crash fatalities was recorded in 2010, but the decline has been steady, year after year. Since the advent of airbags, legislators have required an increasing amount of safety equipment and more stringent crash tests have been used to test car safety.

Furthermore, as used cars with more safety equipment begin to be sold, as most people drive old cars, drivers and passengers enjoy increasing protection. That may not be entirely the reason, but it likely is among the contributing factors.





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