4 Common Forms of Accidental Death and How to Avoid Them

Photo (cc) by Fryderyk Supinski

You eat right, exercise and always buckle up when you’re in a car, but that doesn’t make you bulletproof against some common forms of accidental death.

That’s especially true as we head toward summer. For most of us, warm weather means relaxing, often outdoors. For physicians and nurses, warm weather means the beginning of “trauma season.” Yes, death is most common during the winter holidays, especially around New Year’s, but most of those fatalities are attributed to illness, disease and old age, reports the Washington Post. Summertime brings with it a host of, well, traumas that are often fatal.

Take a look at these causes of death provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and consider supplementing your already healthy habits with some safety boosters.

Accidental poisoning

Photo (cc) by InterfaceLeader

You already know that it’s important to keep medications, cleaners and other poisons under control, especially when kids are around. But unintentional poisonings were the No. 1 cause of death in 2014 for those ages 25 to 64, according to the CDC. Stumped as to why?

Consider alcohol. On average, each day six people (mostly men) in the United States die of alcohol poisoning. Most of those poisonings result from binge drinking. The CDC found about 38 million U.S. adults binge drink an average of four times each month and drink an average of eight drinks per binge. Think that’s not you because you aren’t an alcoholic? Most binge drinkers, the CDC reports, are not alcohol-dependent. Enjoy some adult beverages this summer, but make sure you are aware of how much you consume. Also note that your ability to respond quickly to dangerous situations declines when you consume alcohol, notes Dr. Jan Garavaglia in her book “How Not to Die.”

Motor vehicle accidents

Photo (cc) abhisawa

Crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for those ages 5 to 24 and the No. 2 cause of death for all adults 25 and older, reports the CDC. Again, you know that using seat belts and practicing safe driving are vital. But you may not know some of the other reasons car crashes can be fatal.

Consider car windows. Kids die every year because they become stuck in cars’ power windows. This blog by Allstate describes ways of preventing this disaster in your own family. In addition, half-open car windows – and some cars only allow windows to be opened halfway – can become guillotines during a crash, according to instructors at advanced driving courses such as this one described by Practical Motoring. They advise driving with the window either fully open or fully closed. Again, also remember that alcohol dulls the senses. Even if you’re not driving, alcohol can slow your responses if a car you are riding in crashes or somehow catches fire.


Photo (cc) by OiMax

Although homicide rates in the United States are falling, according to the FBI, homicides are still the second leading cause of death for those under 1 year old and those ages 15 to 24, reports the CDC. It’s also in the top 10 leading causes of death for almost every other age group. Obviously you can’t control others’ behavior, but you can remove yourself from potential hot spots.

Consider the hours you travel. The most dangerous hours to be on roads is between midnight and 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, writes Dr. Garavaglia. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data showing 55 percent of fatal alcohol-impaired crashes occur during those hours. But those aren’t the only potentially fatal dangers. One such high visibility recent crash recently involved comedian Tracy Morgan. He and three friends were injured and another friend — comedian James “Jimmy Mac” McNair – was killed when a reportedly sleep-deprived driver struck a car in which they were traveling along the New Jersey Turnpike in June 2014. The driver has since been charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree vehicular homicide and third-degree aggravated assault, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Falls from less than 10 feet

Photo (cc) by Rachel Zurier

It’s common to think of fatal falls as something that happens to older people or from great heights. Yes, unintentional falls are the No. 1 cause of accidental death for those 65 and older, but they also rank high for almost every other age group, reports the CDC.

Consider height. About 25 percent of fatal falls at work occur from less than 10 feet, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s equal to the share of fatal falls that occurred from heights of 30 feet or more. The severity of falls depends on how you land, of course. Strike your head — whether you fall from 30 feet or 5 feet — and you may die. Whether at home or work, use extra care when on a step stool, ladder or other raised surface.

Have you had a close call with any of these hazards? Share your experiences and tips for being safe in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference

These small money moves will pay off big in the long run.

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 8 Steps

Does it feel like your paycheck is gone the moment you get it? You can break that vicious cycle.

7 Reasons You Should Consider a Career Change at 50

Wondering how to change careers at 50, or if it’s possible at all? The good news is that many older workers have the energy and experience to pull it off.

Avoiding These 5 Foods Could Save Your Vision as You Age

Millions of Americans may be able to prevent an incurable cause of blindness by making a basic change.

Want a Healthy Retirement? Turn This Device Off

A common behavior becomes increasingly dangerous for those who are 50 or older.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

7 Things I Never Buy at Costco

A bulk buy isn’t always the best buy.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.