The National Safety Council (NSC) says on average more than 130,000 people are killed nationwide every year by preventable causes. And those deaths are climbing at an even faster rate lately because of distracted driving and opioid abuse. In 2015 — the last year of the recently compiled stats — the death count jumped 7% to 146,000.
What most bothers NSC President Deborah Hersman and the leadership of the safety council is politicians and other lawmakers ignoring the “simple solutions” that could help avoid deaths on roads and in homes. She said vehicle collisions and poisonings led by opioid abuse led to 80,000 deaths in 2015.
The cost of those accidents and others cost American society $850 billion a year. Yet our focus — at least as a culture — is terrorist attacks and plane crashes. Both are relatively rare.
“Culturally, we’re numb to these things. Why are these deaths any less tragic or important? We should be talking about these things every day because they affect our families,” Hersman said.
Her big concern is opioid abuse. She says it is growing worse and patients dependent on those painkillers often — eventually — turn to heroin. Quoting info from Express Scripts Holding Co., Hersman added that nearly 25% of those on Medicaid received some form of addictive opioid pain meds.
Like many groups, the National Safety Council is pushing Congress and state legislatures into tightening the distribution of opioids. They also want improved access to drugs to counter opioid overdose. Addiction treatment is also high on the wish list.
As for distracted driving, the National Safety Council is urging Legislatures and Congress to pass more laws that restrict speeding and distracted driving.
No states received an A in the National Safety Council’s report. Eleven states failed and that includes the PIA Western Alliance states of Montana and Arizona.
The PIA Western Alliance state of California got a B grade.
Source link: Insurance Journal