The National Safety Council recently released its annual publication, "Accident Facts," covering injury data and information for 1987. Interesting things found from this publication include:
1. The most common types of injury suffered in the United States are open wounds and lacerations, with almost 18 million annually. The next most common are sprains and strains, contusions and fractures.2. Falls are a leading cause of death for older persons, in part because of the high incidence of hip fractures, currently over 200,000 per year in the United States. Of these, almost 50 percent occur to those who are 80 years of age or older. In 1985, more than half of those in nursing homes because of fractures had suffered hip fractures.
3. While accidents are the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, accident victims tend to be much younger than those for the three leading causes of death. Before age 65, accidents erase more years of potential life than any other cause.
4. Three out of four deaths and more than half of the injuries suffered by workers in 1987 occurred off the job. The ratios of off-the-job deaths and injuries to on-the-job deaths were 3.23 to 1 and 1.44 to 1, respectively.
5. Backs and lower extremities are the parts of the body most commonly injured in work accidents.
6. Over 34,000 work-related injuries involving fork-lift trucks were treated in emergency rooms, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
7. Drinking alcohol is indicated to be a factor in 50 to 55 percent of the fatal motor vehicle accidents. This means that in 1987 alcohol was a factor in at least 22,000 fatal accidents. The estimated cost of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents is about $13 billion. Evidence indicates that alcohol-related fatalities are declining.
8. The proportion of all drivers estimated to be legally intoxicated (with blood alcohol content levels of 0.10 percent or greater) when involved in fatal accidents has steadily declined from 30 percent in 1982 to 26 percent in 1986.
9. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies, safety belts are 45 percent effective in preventing fatalities, 50 percent effective in preventing moderate to critical injuries, and 10 percent effective in preventing minor injuries. As of July 1, 1988, 31 states and the District of Columbia have enacted mandatory safety belt use laws. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory child safety seat laws.
10. According to data collected from 32 state farm accident surveys, the agricultural machines most commonly associated with injuries are combines with grain heads, balers, auger elevators and hay harvesters.
11. Tractor overturns account for the highest fatality rate for tractor accidents occurring on the farm.
12. The National Safety Council estimates 2,800 deaths occurred on farms in 1987 and 250,000 disabling injuries.