Could Intentional Injuries Outnumber Injuries Caused by Miami Car Accidents?
A report published yesterday in the American Journal of Public Health reports that suicides across the country surpass even the number of car accident fatalities. According to the report, authored by epidemiology professor Ian Rockett of West Virginia University, in the past ten years falls and overdoses have increased in frequency while the number of car accidents overall has dropped.
According to Rockett’s research, suicides are undercounted, and there could be as many as 20% more suicides than officially listed. While car accident rates have gotten a great deal of attention, Rockett would like to see more attention paid to suicide prevention.
Rockett reached his conclusion by investigating injury death data available from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Looking at injury deaths from 2000 and 2009, Rockett determined that the top causes of unintentional fatalities during this time period were traffic accidents, poisoning, and falls. The top two causes of intentional deaths during the same time period were suicide and homicide. Between 2000 and 2009, according to the research, car accident fatalities declined 25%, while fatalities caused by poisoning increased 128% and fatalities from falls increased 71%. In the same time period, deaths caused by suicides increased 15%. The causes of death during this time period were easier to assess for men than for women.
According to researchers, stigma may be one reason why it is difficult to get more accurate data about suicides – and also why there are fewer programs available to help those who need it. Researchers feel that more cooperation needs to happen between public health sectors, doctors, the public, and legislators to help prevent suicide. More research also needs to be done to determine what more can be done to prevent suicides.
The good news is that now that it is clear there is a problem, more may be done to help prevent the frequency with which suicides occur. After all, steps have been taken to prevent Miami car accidents and accident rates have declined, according to statistics. Since the 1980s, more campaigns and publicity surrounding the dangers of Miami drunk driving have resulted in tougher legislation and special programs designed to reduce the instances of drunk driving. As a result, today drivers are acutely aware that drunk driving causes Miami traffic accidents and the most drivers take steps to drive responsibly. Hopefully, a similar attitude and approach can help society help more suicidal patients.