More Americans Now Die from Suicide than from Auto Accidents

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Suicides rose sharply during the first decade of the new century, with more Americans now dying at their own hand than in auto accidents.


In 2010, 33,687 people died in motor vehicle crashes, while 38,364 committed suicide, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans age 35-64 increased by nearly 30%. Far more men than women killed themselves, with the male suicide rate recorded at 27.3 deaths per 100,000 people. The rate among women was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.


The largest increases occurred in the Baby Boom generation. For men in this cohort, the suicide rate jumped 50% among those in their 50s. Among women age 60-64, the rate soared even higher, by 60%.


“There may be something about that group [Baby Boomers], and how they think about life issues and their life choices that may make a difference,” CDC’s deputy director Ileana Arias told The New York Times.


Arias added that the rise in suicides may stem from the economic downturn over the past decade, which may have put additional pressures on the Baby Boomer generation, who are often coping with the stress of caring for aging parents while still providing financial and emotional support to adult children.  


It also was noted that easy access to prescription painkillers may have played a role as well. However, suicides by hanging saw the highest increase (81%), and most suicides are still committed using firearms.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S. (by Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times)

Suicide Among Adults Aged 35–64 Years — United States, 1999–2010 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Most Gun Deaths in U.S. are Suicides (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

U.S. Military Suicides Outnumbered Combat Deaths in Afghanistan in 2012 (Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman, AllGov)

Drugs Now Cause More Deaths than Car Crashes (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Traffic Deaths Hit 60-Year Low (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


jeff eastman 11 years ago
“A veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes.” Mother Jones. PTSDSTRESS.COM is an anonymous, self-directed internet-based computer therapy website that reduces the symptoms of PTSD. Developed in part by a National Institute of Health PTSD researcher, the user follows programmed light movements on their computer screen while following easy-to-use instructions. It's costs $10 per session and accepts credit cards but does not require a cardholder name for further anonymity and confidentiality.

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