DefinitionDeaths with unintentional injury as the underlying cause of death.
ICD-10 codes: V01-X59, Y85-Y86
Unintentional injuries are commonly referred to as accidents and include poisonings (drugs, alcohol, fumes, pesticides, etc.), motor vehicle crashes, falls, fire, drowning, suffocation, and any other external cause of death.
NumeratorNumber of deaths due to unintentional injury
DenominatorTotal number of persons in the population
Why Is This Important?Unintentional injury is the leading cause of deaths among persons aged 15-49 years and the third leading cause among all ages combined. Unintentional injuries are, for the most part, preventable.
Healthy People Objective: Reduce unintentional injury deathsU.S. Target: 36.4 deaths per 100,000 population
How Are We Doing?In New Jersey, nearly 4,500 deaths were due to unintentional injuries in 2017. These include poisonings, motor vehicle-related fatalities, falls, suffocation, drowning, fire and smoke-related injuries, and others. The age-adjusted death rate due to unintentional injury has been increasing in recent years with a rise in unintentional poisonings.
In the total population and among each racial/ethnic group, males have much higher death rates than females. In New Jersey, the age-adjusted death rate due to unintentional injury is highest among White males followed closely by Black males. County rates per 100,000 population (age-adjusted) range from a low of 29 in Bergen to a high of 94 in Cape May.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The New Jersey age-adjusted death rate due to unintentional injury was 33% below the U.S. rate in 2007, but the gap has decreased to 4% (2017) due to the opioid crisis. New Jersey's stringent helmet laws and laws related to motor vehicle safety likely contribute to the state's continued lower death rate overall. The state's dense population also allows most residents to be in close proximity to hospitals that offer high quality trauma treatment.