Deaths from accidents have been increasing in Nebraska, becoming the fourth overall leading cause of death, according to figures from the Nebraska Safety Council.
Accidental deaths had not ranked that high since 1998, but accounted for 741 Nebraska deaths in 2004, the last year data was available, according to the council.
“With one person dying from an accident every five minutes, unintentional injury is one of the most serious public health issues facing Nebraska and the entire country,” said Laurie Kloster-boer, the council’s executive director. “The economic and social impact is substantial for families, communities, employers and the health care system.”
Car crashes cause more accidental deaths in Nebraska and the country than anything else. Speeding, distracted driving, driving impaired and not wearing seat belts contribute to the deaths, the council said.
The death rate from injuries at home and in community settings increased 30 percent since 1992. Death rates for workplace injuries went down 17 percent, according to the council.
“When it comes to safety, most Americans are more concerned about being the victim of a random act of violence than they are about being seriously injured in an accident,” Klosterboer said. “The reality is that, while we are at greater risk of experiencing an accidental injury, we have greater control over managing those risks.”
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