With concerted efforts of carmakers, independent watchdogs and government agencies, more people now die from poisoning than from auto accidents.
Each year thousands die as a result of car crashes. In 2008, there were around 38,000 motor vehicle traffic deaths, but by 2010 this number had dropped to 32,885 fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although still a high number, it's the lowest level since 1949 and in fact for the first time in three decades auto accidents have been replaced by poisoning at the top of the table for injury deaths in the US.
An analysis recently published by the National Center for Health Statistics found that in 2008, over 41,000 people died as a result of poisoning. Nearly 9 out of 10 were caused by drugs, with opiod painkillers such as Morphine, Percocet and Vicodin, playing a major role in these deaths. Automakers are obviously doing something right producing progressively safer vehicles and the push for drivers to cull drink driving is clearly having a positive effect. Unfortunately, the health care industry has a real battle on their hands helping individuals manage the use of pain relievers.