The number of Americans dying from preventable injuries has reached an all-time high, according to analysis from the National Safety Council.

Preventable injuries, commonly known as ‘accidents’, claimed 136,053 lives in 2014 – a 57 per cent increase since 1992, when deaths from preventable injuries were as low as they had been in 68 years. Preventable injuries are now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease.

Between the ages of five and 24, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of preventable deaths.

The data, released during National Safety Month, prompted the National Safety Council to issue a commitment to all Americans to eliminate preventable death in our lifetime.

“Losing someone every four minutes to an injury we know how to prevent is unacceptable,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Eliminating preventable deaths is a lofty goal, but not impossible. We can be successful one company, one family and one life at a time. If we all work together to reduce harm, we will make our world a measurably safer place.”

Throughout our lifetime, the leading causes of preventable death are:
Younger than 1: Suffocation
Ages 1 to 4: Drowning
Ages 5 to 24: Motor vehicle crashes
Ages 25-64: Poisonings, largely from drug overdoses and prescription opioids
Ages 65+: Falls