Opioid Overdose Chance Overtakes Motor Vehicle Crash Death Chance

by Arden Lunay

A new report by the National Safety Council has found that an American is more likely to die from an opioid overdose than in a motor vehicle crash.

Americans have a 1 in 103 chance of dying on the road, while they have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from opioid overdose, statistics that bring to light the severity of America’s ever-growing opioid epidemic. Fentanyl is the strongest culprit for overdose deaths.

Doctors in California are being somewhat held accountable for theses deaths. The state’s Death Certificate Project tracks opioid overdoses and sends the doctor who last prescribed them an opioid a letter requiring that the doctor provide a written summary of the care they had provided, and a certified copy of the patient’s medical record. The goal is to find doctors who inappropriately prescribed the extremely addictive drug in order to fight the epidemic.

The report also found that the odds of an American dying from a preventable injury has gone up in the last 15 years, a trend that seems backwards, with growing safety precautions and technology. These preventable, early deaths have caused the US life expectancy to drop for the third year in a row, down to 78.6 years in 2017.

While there has been a sharp increase in overdoses and suicides, there has been a 2.1 percent decline in people dying from cancer. The leading cause of death in America is heart disease (1 in 6), and common fears such as dying in an airplane remain extremely unlikely, with a 1 in 188,364 chance of dying as a passenger.


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