In 2007, there were 182,479 injury-related deaths in the United States — including homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries – making injuries the leading cause of death for persons under age 45. Also in 2007, nearly 30 million Americans suffered a non-fatal injury serious enough to warrant hospital treatment. The lifetime cost of fatal and non-fatal injuries occurring in 2000 is estimated to exceed $400 billion.Efforts to prevent injuries have often focused on changes to the built environment or potentially dangerous products to reduce risks. Building safety into a product or environment — especially in ways that require little or no user action to confer protection — is often more effective than trying to change consumer behavior. For example, improving the crashworthiness of cars through design changes such as air bags, fire-resistant fuel systems, or electronic stability programs, is more effective than simply trying to teach operators to become safer drivers.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2011.00574.x
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