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July 07, 2017
Did your state earn an “A” for safety? Probably not.

A new survey from the National Safety Council (NSC) finds that no state goes far enough to protect its residents from leading causes of preventable death and injury (accidents) at work, at home, in the community, or on the road. Despite preventable death being at an all-time high, none of the 50 states or Washington, D.C., earned an “A” for overall safety. The findings are detailed in The State of Safety, which the NSC describes as a first-of-its-kind assessment of how well Americans are protected from risk.

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Seven states—California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington—and Washington, D.C., received a “B” overall. And 11 states earned a grade of “F”—Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The NSC hopes the report will draw attention to eliminating preventable deaths. The safety council notes that death from motor vehicle crashes, drug overdoses, falls, drowning, choking, and fires are up 7 percent since 2014.

Stated NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman, “The cultural novocaine [sic] has to wear off. Safety is no accident. We lose more than 140,000 people because of events we know how to prevent.” She says the new report provides states with a blueprint for saving lives.

Among topics addressed is distracted driving. According to the report, distracted drivers killed 3,477 people in 2015 and injure more than 1,100 every day. At any given moment, up to 7 percent of all drivers are using a cell phone while driving. Hands-free devices do not reduce crash risk because the brain remains distracted by the conversation or task, also known as cognitive distraction.

Currently, no state has a law that completely bans the use of all electronic devices, including hands-free ones, behind the wheel. The NSC believes a full ban is the best way to prevent crashes involving distracted drivers.

Read the full report at http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/State-of-Safety/State-Report.pdf.

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