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Falls are the Seventh Most Common Cause of Death

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Thom is the CEO of Handi-Ramp and the inventor of HandiTreads.
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on Thursday, 30 August 2012
in Slip and Fall Statistics · 0 Comments

According to the National Safety Council in the NSC's recently released 2012 edition of Injury Facts®. One of the charts in this book depicts the odds of dying from various causes based upon an analysis of deaths in the US in 2008.

You can see this chart here.

The chart starts with the fact that everyone will die, it then lists the most frequent causes of death, the most frequent are:


  1. 1 in 6 people died from Heart Disease
  2. 1 in 7 people died from Cancer
  3. 1 in 29 people died from Stroke
  4. 1 in 98 people died from Motor Vehicle Incidents
  5. 1 in 109 people died from Intentional Self Harm
  6. 1 in 126 people died from Unintentional Poisoning And Exposure To Noxious Substances
  7. 1 in 163 people died from Falls
  8. 1 in 321 people died from Assault by Firearms
  9. 1 in 368 people died as a Passenger in a Car
  10. 1 in 701 people died as a Pedestrian
  11. 1 in 761 people died as a Motorcycle Rider
  12. 1 in 1,103 people died from Accidental Drowning
  13. 1 in 1,344 people died from Exposure to Smoke, Fire and Flames
  14. 1 in 4,381 people died as a Pedalcyclist


Many of these statistics were not surprising, heart disease, cancer, stroke and motor vehicles all seem to be in line with reasonable expectations (if one can have a reasonable expectation about death and dying). I was very surprised by number 5, I would never have guessed that the fifth cause of death in 2008 was Intentional Self Harm, which I guess in government speak is suicide. Just under 1 percent of deaths in 2008 were from suicide, wow that is much higher than I would have expected. The seventh most common cause of death was from falls, which the government typically includes falls from a different level (stairs, ladders, and the like) and falls on the same level, which most of us think of as slips and trips.

Of course this "deaths from falls" number is the tie in to this blog. 0.6% of the people that died in 2008 died as a consequence of a fall. Putting this in perspective with other causes of death:

  • You are twice as likely to die from a slip and fall injury as you are from firearms assault.
  • You are almost seven times more likely as likely to die from a slip and fall injury as you are from drowning.
  • You are eight times more likely to die from a slip and fall injury as you are from a fire.
  • You are 27 times more likely to die from a slip and fall injury than you are from riding your bike.
  • You are 500 times more likely to die from a slip and fall accident than you are from exposure to hornets, wasps and bees.
  • and finally,
  • For every 3 people that died from a motor vehicle accident, 2 died from a slip and fall accident.

The most interesting thing about this is that we can all take actions to reduce the number of slip and fall accidents and actually save lives.

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