A new report published by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says that New Mexico has the highest death rate from injuries in the United States. According to the report, The Facts Hurt: A State-by-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, accidental injuries are the third leading cause of death in the nation and the number one cause for Americans between the ages of one and 44. Men reportedly account for over two-thirds of all injury-related deaths throughout the country. An estimated 50 million Americans are treated by health care professionals for a wide variety of injuries every year. Additionally, more than 2.8 million people are hospitalized and approximately 12,000 children die as a result of serious injuries each year.
According to the research report, which focused on state laws and policies designed to reduce injuries, thousands of injury deaths every year are completely preventable. Common causes of injury such as texting and driving, concussions, falls, drowning, car accidents, and others were examined in the report. According to Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director at the Trust for America's Health, the report is focused on scientifically supported steps that can potentially increase safety for millions of families in the U.S.
The report ranked each state on a scale of 1 to 10 using specified criteria related to safety laws such as seat belt and helmet use. Although about half of states scored five or lower, New York and California tied for top honors with a 9 out of 10 ranking. Ohio and Montana secured the lowest score of only 2 out of 10 and New Mexico’s injury prevention policies reportedly scored 7 out of 10. Despite the state’s better than average injury prevention ranking, the report found the number of injury-related deaths in New Mexico between 2007 and 2009 was 97.8 per 100,000 residents, the highest of any state. The national average was 57.9 deaths per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, New Jersey was the safest state with only 36.1 deaths per 100,000 residents. It is important to note, however, the injuries analyzed in the report included both accidental and intentional deaths from violence or suicide.