Los Angeles [US]: In recent years, guns have overtaken automotive crashes as the leading cause of injury-related death among people ages one through 24 in the United States, Scientific American, a popular science magazine, has reported.
According to the report published on the magazine’s website on Thursday, for much of the past few decades, motor vehicle crashes were the most common cause of death from injury — the leading cause of death in general — among children, teenagers and young adults in the country.
The switchover, which happened in 2017, stems from both a reduction in vehicle-related deaths and a grim uptick in gun-related fatalities.
From 2000 to 2020, the number of firearm-related deaths in the one-to-24-year-old age group increased from 7.3 per 100,000 people to 10.28 per 100,000, while motor-vehicle-related deaths declined from 13.62 to 8.31 per 100,000, said the report, citing age-adjusted data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The decline in vehicle deaths is largely the result of a concerted effort to track and study motor vehicle crashes.
One of the key actions of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, established by the US Congress in 1970 with the goal of saving lives and preventing traffic-related injuries, was to create and maintain a public database of automobile deaths on US roads, allowing researchers to identify ways to improve safety, according to the report.
By contrast, no such federal agency exists to regulate the safety of firearms, added the report, noting that many experts assert that the high rate of gun deaths among young people is not an inevitability and that it is possible to prevent such deaths by gathering data and doing research. (ANI/Xinhua)