Motor vehicle crashes, homicide, domestic and school violence, child abuse and neglect, suicide, and unintentional drug overdoses are important public health concerns in the United States. In addition to their immediate health impact, the effects of injuries and violence extend well beyond the injured person or victim of violence, affecting family members, friends, coworkers, employers, and communities. Witnessing or being a victim of violence is linked to lifelong negative physical, emotional, and social consequences.
Both unintentional injuries and those caused by acts of violence are among the top 15 killers of Americans of all ages. Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans age 1 to 44, and a leading cause of disability for all ages, regardless of sex, race and ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Each year, more than 29 million people suffer an injury severe enough that emergency department treatment is needed. More than 180,000 people each year die from these injuries, with approximately 51,000 of these deaths resulting from a violent event. Many intentional and unintentional injuries are preventable.
The Injury and Violence Leading Health Indicators are:
Health Impact of Injury and Violence
Unintentional injuries and violence-related injuries can be caused by a number of events, such as motor vehicle crashes and physical assault, and can occur virtually anywhere. No matter what the circumstances of the event are, injuries can have serious, painful, and debilitating physical and emotional health consequences, many of which are long term or permanent, including:
- Brain injury
- Poor mental health
- Premature death
While their extent, severity, and impact may vary, injuries from any cause can significantly influence the physical, mental, and economic well-being of individuals, families, and communities nationwide.