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.


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  • 62 Comments
      Practical Nomad
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unfortunately the Insurance Companies aren't decreasing their premiums.
        hony53
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Practical Nomad
        Don't ever expect them too. I am insured with G____. They ALWAYS find some excuse. When we moved from NY to Tennessee, I had to fight and scream to get my policy re-rated. Eventually my premium went from $4200 to $1900 (NO accidents, tickets or DUI). Many states, such as NY, are implicit in rate increases. The companies don't care, they just pass it on. Look at your policy if you want to see the many extra charges the state mandates.
      hfcfried
      • 3 Years Ago
      People in America have no idea about what realy goes into buying a car or truck and what they should look at. First of all looking at our country any american car maker provides income for not only the building of the car but also where the parts are made. Cars whom are built hear but owned by foreign companys provide jobs on the assembly line but the money does not stay hear. Japan auto makers like honda for example cost much more to make and repair. The reason most parts are made in Japan. The consumer thinks only about a deal what is a good deal American cars are made as good or better and less expensive. They cost half the amout to maintain and have much more power. On average you pay 10 to 25 percent to buy a foreign car then buying a Quality American made car.
        vlady1000
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hfcfried
        You forgot too mention, where is the R&D done, where is the testing done,where is the home office with all that support staff. This accounts for many more jobs, more buidings (leads to more employment in construction), the upkeep of all these building (more jobs), more taxes collected thru higher employment,property taxes, etc. It is a real snowball effect when you look at the total picture. Not just where a car ia ASSEMBLED (not made).
        wrxfrk16
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hfcfried
        Quality made? Is that why my wife's Ranger's value will be cut in half next year thanks to depreciation while my two year old Forester XT has lost maybe three thousand or so in value? Complain about it all you want, but until the domestic's start putting out attractive, reliable, fun to drive cars that hold their value, the Japanese can keep my money, cause I work far too hard to give it over to the clowns here.
      thedriveatfive
      • 3 Years Ago
      slightly misleading. This only counts vehicle occupants not pedestrians.
      Gorgenapper
      • 3 Years Ago
      What is the percentage of Americans who are actually taking medication and/or are drug addicts *and* are stupid/ignorant enough to OD or take the wrong meds....vs those who actually operate a motor vehicle everyday, for whatever purpose? The caption is misleading. It's like saying that I'm 1000 times more likely to be stung to death by wasps than to be attacked by a shark while I'm diving off the coast of Australia with raw lamb chops strapped to my legs and arms.
      G2 Services, Ltd
      • 3 Years Ago
      With an ex wife who hates me the likelihood of poisoning is was higher.
      Kiiks
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, you can't fix stupid so there will always be fatalities.
        DrEvil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kiiks
        So the family of 5 that was crushed to death when a loaded dump truck toppled onto their mini-van on the Major Deegan Expressway, died because they were stupid? Wow.
          Kiiks
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          sigh... I will spell it out for you. Stupid people cause accidents, some of them fatal. I didn't say anything about victims.
          mmapying
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          stay the **** away from trucks on high speed turns.
          S.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          You can't fix stupid - Exhibit A: DrEvil.
      JDam4131
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes, deaths are down but here is the reality: - It doesnt mean the number of accidents has decreased, im sure it's increased in fact. -Driver education and safety are at an all time low.
      MyerShift
      • 3 Years Ago
      People will always die in accidents. People do need to pay more attention.
      jcwconsult
      • 3 Years Ago
      The fatality rate per mile traveled has dropped by about 80% since the 1960s, and car travel is incredibly safe today. The fatality rate nationwide is about 1.1 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. So, if you drive about 15,000 miles per year, that means you will be killed about once in every 6,000 years. Driving is not a no risk activity, but it is a very LOW risk activity. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, MI
      guyintheback
      • 3 Years Ago
      oh well i guess ill go hop back into my plastic ball and live in fear for the rest of my life
      Jim R
      • 3 Years Ago
      Especially more likely to be poisoned to death if you eat my sister in law's cooking... *rimshot*
      ojfltx
      • 3 Years Ago
      33,000 deaths in a market where at least 12 million new vehicles are introduced in the market. That is amazing. Reducing that even further will cost a fortune.
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