New Jersey third lowest in nation for injury deaths
New Jersey is one of the safest states in the nation when it comes to fatal injuries from motor vehicle accidents, homicides, suicides, drug overdoses and falls, according to a new report.
In fact, the Garden State ranks third in the country, only behind New York and Massachusetts, in a new report entitled "The Facts Hurt: A State by State Injury Prevention Policy Report" by Trust for America's Health with 44 deaths from injuries per 100,000 people. Overall, the national rate is 58.4 deaths per 100,000 people.
Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44 and are responsible for nearly 193,000 deaths per year. While New Jersey is one of the safest states in the nation, there have been increases over the past four years for injury deaths, which include drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, homicides and others, according to the report. The Garden State is right in the middle, ranking 27th, when it comes to overdose deaths. As is the case in 35 states, we now see more deaths from drug overdoses than we do from motor vehicle accidents.
"Over the past 30 years, drug overdose deaths in New Jersey have gone up by 476 percent," said Rich Hamburg, deputy director of Trust for America's Health. "Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of injury in 36 states, including New Jersey where the death rate is 13.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Of those drug overdoses, a little over a majority are from opioids, or prescription drugs."
When it comes to policy change, the Garden State has addressed seven of 10 indicators of steps that states can take to prevent injuries including seat belt laws, child safety seat laws, bicycle helmet laws and measures that address child abuse and neglect.
"The report serves as a reminder that there are policies that can be put into place that can help reduce injuries and violence," Hamburg said.