CBS News reported a disturbing trend on the leading causes of death in America. For the first time since records have been kept, preventable injuries have become the third leading cause of death in the United States, the National Safety Council (NSC) announced. In fact, data shows that preventable deaths rose 10 percent in 2016.
The increase was due to an uptick in fatal motor vehicle crashes and, particularly the ongoing opioid crisis. The opioid crisis claimed the lives of 37,814 people who overdosed on prescription opioid pain relievers, fentanyl and heroin in 2016. Heart disease and cancer still top the list as the leading causes of death in the United States
Other significant causes of preventable deaths in the report include— a growing concern as the population ages — choking and .
“The truth is, there is no such thing as an accident,” said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Every single one of these deaths was preventable. We know what to do to save lives, but collectively, we have failed to prioritize safety at work, at home and on the road.”
The agency’s analysis found that one American is injured every second and one is killed every three minutes by a preventable accident. In total, 161,374 people died of preventable injuries in 2016. Only heart disease and cancer are responsible for more deaths.