“Are Americans worrying too much about the wrong things?”
That’s the title of a press release from the National Safety Council (NSC) marking June as National Safety Month.
The point from NSC: Unintentional (accidental) injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Yet, the news media (particularly TV news) are more likely to highlight murders than unintentional injuries, despite the fact that murder isn’t even in the top 15 causes of death in the U.S.
The NSC points out that the top three causes of unintentional injury in the U.S. are:
- Poisoning (with a large majority of cases attributed to the recent epidemic of prescription drug abuse)
- Motor vehicle crashes (with 26% of all crashes estimated to involve cell phone use while driving), and
The NSC says by taking some simple steps this month, while we’re on and off the job, we can decrease the number of deaths by unintentional injury. Examples:
- Properly store your medications
- Don’t talk on your cell phone (hands-on or hands-free) while driving, and
- Use slip-resistant mats on floors.
I don’t know about you, but when I read that unintentional deaths are the No. 5 cause of death in the U.S., I wanted to know what Nos. 1-4 were, and how the number of murders compared to this list.
So without further ado, here are the top 15 causes of death in the U.S. for 2010 (the most recent year final statistics are available):
- Heart disease
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases
- Unintentional injuries (accidents)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Kidney disease
- Flu and pneumonia
- Intentional self harm (suicide)
- Septicemia (blood poisoning)
- Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
- Parkinson’s disease, and
- Pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue) due to solids and liquids.
Murder isn’t on the Top 15 list. The No. 15 cause claimed 17,011 lives in 2010. There were 12,996 murders in the same year.
Is your company doing something special for National Safety Month? Let us know how in the comments section.