Americans are most likely to die of heart disease. It’s listed as the number one cause of death in America said to kill 635,260 people a year. Car accidents kill about 40,000 people a year. Car accident deaths are on the decline but opioid deaths are increasing. In fact, opioid deaths just passed car accidents. This should put opioid deaths at the bottom of this list of 12 Leading Causes of Deaths in the U.S.
This is a first. Americans are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than from a car wreck, according to the National Safety Council.
Vox did some statistics:
Based on 2017 data, people in the US have a 1 in 103 chance of dying in a motor vehicle crash over their lifetime, but a 1 in 96 chance of dying of an opioid overdose.
In comparison, a person has a 1 in 6 chance of dying of heart disease, a 1 in 7 chance of dying of cancer, a 1 in 285 chance of dying of a gun assault, a 1 in 1,117 chance of dying by drowning, a 1 in 188,364 chance of dying in a plane crash, and a 1 in 218,106 chance of getting killed by lightning.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the age-adjusted motor vehicle death rate hit 11.5 per 100,000 people in 2017, down from a recent peak of 15.2 in 2002.
By contrast, opioid overdose deaths — now largely driven by illicit fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that’s spread in black markets for drugs — hit an age-adjusted rate of 14.9 per 100,000 in 2017, up from 2.9 in 1999.