In 2017, the odds of opioid dying rose to one in 96, surpassing the one in 103 odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash. Photo by Sponge/Wikimedia Commons
Jan. 14 (UPI) -- For the first time ever, the odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose are higher than from a car crash.
In 2017, the odds of dying from opioid use rose to one in 96, surpassing the one in 103 odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash, according to data published Monday by the National Safety Council.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 115 people die each day from opioid overdoses.
The leading cause of preventable death is suicide, with one in 88 odds.
Overall, nearly 170,000 people died from preventable injuries in 2017, falling behind only heart disease and cancer. And poisoning, motor vehicles and falls made up almost 83 percent of all preventable deaths.
"We've made significant strides in overall longevity in the United States, but we are dying from things typically called accidents at rates we haven't seen in half a century," said Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at the National Safety Council, in a news release.
Opioid deaths often go underreported, according to a recent study.
The NSC data revealed that a person has a one in 114 dying from a fall, making it the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States -- and a fall is now more likely to kill a person than at any time ever.
The aim of the list is to keep the public aware of common causes of death that don't always make big headlines in the news. The NSC added "Deaths by Transportation Mode," "Poisonings," "Older Adult Falls" and "Fire-Related Fatalities and Injuries" to its list to broaden public awareness.
In all, a person has a one in 25 chance of dying from any preventable injury in their lifetime.
"We cannot be complacent about 466 lives lost every day," Kolosh said. "This new analysis reinforces that we must consistently prioritize safety at work, at home and on the road to prevent these dire outcomes."