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PA ranked 30th in U.S. for injury deaths

Researchers set out to determine which U.S. states are the safest. In a study released last month, each state was ranked by 10 key indicators of steps states can take to prevent injuries, including those caused by accidents and violence, to their residents.  Pennsylvania received a score of 5 out of 10, leaving the state plenty of room for improvement.

The study, entitled “The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report,” by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), looked at each state, ranking them on a 10 to 0 scale, with states receiving one point for each of 10 policies that could improve safety. Two states, California and New York, scored nine out of the possible 10 points, and had the best overall ratings. Montana and Ohio both scored the worst overall with just 2 points each.  Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia all received the same score as PA, garnering 5 points each.

The researchers analyzed three years of data (2007-2009) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System to find the number of injuries per 100,000 residents.  Pennsylvania had 59.4 injury-related deaths, as compared to the national average of about 58 deaths per 100,000 people.  New Mexico had the most at 97.8, and New Jersey had the least at just 36.1 deaths.  The study pointed out that every year, injuries generate nearly $406 billion in lifetime costs for medical care and lost productivity.  In Pennsylvania, total lifetime medical costs due to fatal injury were $74.2 million.

“Injuries are the third leading cause of death nationally, and they are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of one and 44,”according to the report.  In addition, nearly 50 million Americans receive medical treatment for injuries each year, and close to 3 million are hospitalized.  12,000 children and teens die from injuries each year and 9.2 million are treated in emergency rooms, according to the study.

The study looked at 10 different safety policies, ranging from drunk driving penalties to domestic partner violence policies and prescription drug abuse, which the Trust says have a growing amount of research behind each of them showing that they improve safety and help prevent accidents and violence. According to the scorecard for Pennsylvania, the state scored a point for each of the following initiatives:  require booster seats to at least the age of eight, require bicycle helmets for all children, allow people in dating relationships to get protection orders, have a strong concussion law and have an active prescription drug monitoring program.

“There are proven, evidence-based strategies that can spare millions of Americans from injuries each year,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. “This report focuses on specific, scientifically supported steps we can take to make it easier for Americans to keep themselves and their families safer.”

Pennsylvania did not receive a point for any of the following policies: primary seat belt laws, mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, universal helmet law requiring helmets for all riders, teen dating violence policies and a program to track causes of injuries for emergency room visits.

Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys applaud these organizations for taking a close look at injury causes and prevention across the United States.  Our legal team has seen firsthand the devastation an injury or accidental death can cause to a family.  We hope our state’s lawmakers review this report and consider changes to help keep our residents safe.

About Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., has offices throughout Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Stroudsburg, Carbondale, Plains, Hazleton and Hamlin. The firm’s main office is located at 227 Penn Avenue, Scranton, PA, 18503. The local phone number is (570) 346-7401. To learn more, call (800) 318-LAW1 or use the firm’s online contact form.


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