Crashed Jeep WJ

Car crashes kill thousands of Americans every year. In fact, in 2010 alone 32,885 vehicle occupants died as a result of an accident. In the past, auto accidents held the top spot in injury deaths here in the U.S., but that statistic has changed.

The New York Times reports that a study by the National Center for Health Statistics reveals that over 41,000 Americans lost their lives due to poisoning. Over 90 percent of those deaths were drug-related, with prescription drugs like Morphine and Vicodin among the major culprits.

This is bad news for the health care industry and drug makers, but it's good news for automakers, motorists and insurance companies. Vehicles have become progressively safer over the decades thanks to the efforts of carmakers, independent watchdogs like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and government agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Traveling is now safer than it has been in decades, but nearly 33,000 deaths mean that we're not out of the woods yet.