Special Report

The States With the Most Deadly Accidents

10. Louisiana
> Age-adjusted accidental deaths per 100,000:
50.4
> Pct. population using mind-altering drugs almost daily: 22.9 (5th highest)
> Premature death (years of potential life lost prior to age 75 per 100,000): 9,625 (6th highest)
> Leading cause of accidental death: Motor vehicle accidents

There were 16.4 motor vehicles deaths per 100,000 people in Louisiana, the leading cause of accidental death in the state. The motor vehicle-related death rate in Louisiana was ninth highest in the country. Poisoning — predominantly as a result of drug use — was the second leading cause of accidental death in Louisiana. There were 15.4 deaths per 100,000 people resulting from drug poisoning, the ninth highest in the country. As in other states with a relatively high accidental death rate from drug-related poisoning, Louisiana had one of the highest shares of residents reporting near-daily use of mind-altering drugs. According to the survey, 22.9% of Louisiana residents reported near-daily use of such drugs, fifth highest in the country. With 6.7 deaths per 100,000 residents, falls were the third leading cause of accidental deaths in Louisiana, as they were across the nation.

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9. Alaska
> Age-adjusted accidental deaths per 100,000:
52.2
> Pct. population using mind-altering drugs almost daily: 13.5 (the lowest)
> Premature death (years of potential life lost prior to age 75 per 100,000): 7,600 (17th highest)
> Leading cause of accidental death: Poison

Of the 17.8 poisoning-related deaths per 100,000 Alaskans, 12.5 were drug related, slightly higher than the national rate of 11.3 drug poisoning-related deaths per 100,000 Americans. Most states with high rates of accidental drug poisoning deaths had similarly high percentages of people reporting near-daily mind-altering drug use. However, Alaska had the lowest share of residents reporting near-daily use of mind-altering drugs at 13.5%, compared with about 19% nationally. While the second leading cause of unintentional deaths in Alaska was motor vehicle accidents, the reported 8.5 such deaths per 100,000 residents was actually the ninth lowest such rate in the country. Alaska had the second highest death rate from drowning of all states at 3.02 per 100,000 people, almost three times the national rate.

8. Tennessee
> Age-adjusted accidental deaths per 100,000:
52.7
> Pct. population using mind-altering drugs almost daily: 21.5 (13th highest)
> Premature death (years of potential life lost prior to age 75 per 100,000): 9,168 (8th highest)
> Leading cause of accidental death: Poison

There were 15.4 motor vehicles deaths per 100,000 Tennessee residents, making it the second leading cause of unintentional deaths in the state. Poison was the leading cause of accidental death in Tennessee, with 16.3 poisoning-related deaths reported per 100,000 people. Drug-related poisoning was responsible for 15.3 deaths per 100,000 people. One of every five adults in the state acknowledged almost daily use of mind-altering drugs, one the higher shares of all states. As in most of the top states for unintentional deaths, drug use was the leading cause of accidental deaths in Tennessee. As with many of the states with the highest accidental death rates, Tennessee had one of the highest rates of premature death before age 75, with an estimated 9,168 years of potential life lost per 100,000 residents. The national rate was 6,976 years per 100,000 Americans.