Preventable Deaths Increase during Summer Months (Learn More)

During National Safety Month, Americans are encouraged to make safety resolutions and break bad habits

National Safety Council data show that July and August typically record the highest number of preventable deaths, underscoring the need to use National Safety Month – observed each June – as a time to evaluate habits and resolve to reduce risks.

A total of 117,041 people died from preventable injuries – commonly known as “accidents” – in July and August from 2011 to 2015i as a result of poisonings, car crashes, falls, drowning, choking and fires.ii

“Someone dies every 4 minutes because of something we know how to prevent,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

“National Safety Month is the ideal time to pause and take stock of our own safety, because history tells us that the odds may not be in our favor during the summer months.”

Preventable deaths have reached an all-time high, killing 146,571 people in 2015 – a 7 percent jump over 2014.iii  

Tips for reducing risk and preparing for a safe summer include:

  • Understand the specific risks facing you and your family. Run a personal safety report at
  • Ask your doctor for alternatives to highly addictive opioid painkillers, which are not the most effective way to treat pain and often serve as gateway drugs to heroin.
  • Store medications in a locking medicine cabinet, and keep all medicines up and away from small children.
  • Refrain from using a cell phone behind the wheel – even hands-free.
  • Designate a sober, alcohol and drug-free driver.
  • Fall-proof your home by securing rugs, installing handrails on staircases and placing no-slip mats in the bathtub.
  • Before heading to the pool or beach, make sure everyone knows how to swim and someone in the group has been trained in First Aid and CPR.
  • To prevent children from choking, cut food into small pieces and avoid giving them hard candy.
  • Develop an escape plan and practice a family drill in case of a house fire.

(Louie Miceli, a high school athlete, started using prescription opioid painkillers following a sports injury. His mother Felicia shares how Louie’s painkiller use led to addiction. Eventually, Louie switched to heroin – a cheaper, but illegal, alternative. Like many who struggle with addiction, Louie fatally overdosed on Aug. 7, 2012. Courtesy of the National Safety Council and YouTube)

Visit for additional tips, information and free resources, and promote your participation on social media using the hashtag, #KeepEachOtherSafe.

National Safety CouncilFounded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.

i According to Injury Facts 2017
ii According to Injury Facts 2017
iii According to Injury Facts 2017