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Health Indicator Report of Deaths due to Unintentional Injury

Unintentional injury was the leading cause of deaths among persons aged 15-44 years and the fourth leading cause among all ages combined in 2020. Unintentional injuries are, for the most part, preventable.


Data for White, Black, and Asian do not include Hispanics. Hispanic ethnicity includes persons of any race. **There are too few deaths among Asians to calculate reliable rates for some injury types. Those are denoted by a blank bar in the graph. "Poisoning" includes drugs, alcohol, gases, pesticides, and other chemicals and noxious substances. "Suffocation" includes inhalation or ingestion of food, gastric contents, or other objects causing obstruction of respiratory tract; unintentional suffocation, strangulation, or hanging in bed or elsewhere; threat to breathing due to cave-in, falling earth and other substances; trapped in a low-oxygen environment; and other threats to breathing.

Data Sources

  • Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Population Estimates, [ State Data Center], New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development


Deaths 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.


Number of deaths due to unintentional injury


Total number of persons in the population

Healthy People Objective: Reduce unintentional injury deaths

U.S. Target: 36.4 deaths per 100,000 population

How Are We Doing?

In New Jersey, nearly 4,800 deaths were due to unintentional injuries in 2020. These include poisonings, falls, motor vehicle-related fatalities, suffocation, drowning, fire and smoke-related injuries, and others. New Jersey's age-adjusted death rate due to unintentional injury rose sharply between 2014 and 2018 due to a rise in unintentional poisonings but has been relatively stable since then. In 2019, falls became the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for the first time, while motor vehicle crashes dropped to third. This was due to both a slow decline in motor vehicle-related injuries and a slow increase in fall-related injuries. In the total population and among each racial/ethnic group, males have much higher death rates than females. In 2020, the age-adjusted death rate due to unintentional injury was highest among Black males followed by White males. County rates per 100,000 population (age-adjusted) ranged from a low of 24.4 in Hunterdon to a high of 105.5 in Cape May.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The New Jersey age-adjusted death rate due to unintentional injury was 30% below the U.S. rate in 2009, but the gap has disappeared due to the opioid crisis. New Jersey's motor vehicle safety laws likely contribute to the state's continued lower motor vehicle-related death rate. The state's dense population also allows most residents to be in close proximity to hospitals that offer high quality trauma treatment.

Available Services

Poison Control: [] or 1-800-222-1222 Fall Prevention: [] Child Safety Seat Check Schedule: []
Page Content Updated On 07/12/2022, Published on 07/25/2022
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 16 April 2024 19:06:00 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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