What’s deadlier than stroke, diabetes or Alzheimer’s yet almost completely preventable?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the answer is accidents and unintentional injuries!

Year after year, accidents are the third most common cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. In 2016, there were 161,374 deaths from falls, auto accidents, poisonings and other unintentional events. For men and women ages one to 44, unintentional injury is the most common cause of death!

Now think about this: For every death by accident, how many nonfatal accidents lead to broken bones, concussions, sprains and who knows what other serious injuries that can have a lifelong impact? In the case of falls, “only” 34,673 people died in 2016, but more than 800,000 were hospitalized due to falls. It is likely that millions were injured falling and just went to a doctor or “toughed it out” without seeking care.

What a terrible human toll. And what a colossal strain on the health-care system!

Far too many of these lost lives and serious injuries are the result of carelessness and could easily be avoided by putting aside our multitasking, screen-focused behaviors and introducing a bit of mindfulness into everyday activities. In a widely shared blog post, our own Sarah Hiner confessed it was “stupidity” that led to a recent fall and hospital visit. She titled it When Even Smart People Ignore the Obvious, and you can read it here.

While no one ever plans to have an accident, there is much that can be done to reduce your risk. Take care!