A new study shows that car crashes were surpassed by suicide as the main cause of injury deaths.
The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health and was made by Ian Rockett, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University. He discovered that deaths caused by car crashes declined over the past 10 years, compared with suicide deaths which are increasing.
“Suicides are undercounted; I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe,” he said.
Rockett used for his study data gathered by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics for injury death causes from 2000 to 2009. During that period car crashes deaths dropped 25%, compared with suicide deaths which increased 15%, while deaths caused by poisoning were up 128%. Rokett included poisoning deaths in the suicide category since they are intentional drug overdoses.
Among the factors that might have caused the drop in car crash deaths, Rockett included the increase of new passive and active safety features, the decrease of older vehicles, people drive less due to the rising motoring costs, and the fact that fewer 16-year-old teenagers are getting their licenses.