No one wants to think about dying, especially when they’re young and healthy. We treat our mortality like every other unpleasantness in life – prepare as much as possible and avoid thinking about what we can’t control. We can improve health and increase longevity, but accidental deaths are more difficult to avoid.

Most Common Causes of Accidental Death

What follows are the top 5 causes of accidental death in the US, along with any preventative measures to lower your vulnerability to these situations.


Choking isn’t something most people think of as a common danger, but it poses the fifth highest risk of accidental death. Most choking victims are children. Food should be cut carefully and children should be seated while they’re eating. Other choking hazards include things with small parts and balloons. Adults do suffer choking-related accidents; often due to carelessness while eating.


Fires account for the fourth-largest percentage of accidental deaths. To help avoid injury, every household should have an evacuation plan in place. Fire extinguishers should be present on all floors and smoke detectors should be checked regularly. Other safety precautions include common sense habits, such as extinguishing any candles before leaving the room.


According to the 2013 CDC statistics, falls account for over 30,000 accidental deaths per year in the US. Falling is the leading cause of home injury deaths and most falls in the home happen in the bathroom. A great way to prevent falling in the home is to install grab bars in bathtubs to make it easier to regain your balance in a slick environment. Railings should also be installed on stairways and special care should be taken in cold weather.


According to the 2013 CDC statistics, poisoning accounts for nearly 39,000 accidental deaths per year. Most cases of poisoning are the result of drug overdose, which is preventable with the aid of treatment programs and correct use of prescription medication. Other cases of poisoning can happen with household items.

Car Accidents

Car accidents have been the leading cause of accidental death for a number of years, though statistics change on the causes. Practicing safe driving, such as not drinking or using a phone, significantly reduces your chances of causing an accident. However, you can’t control whether other drivers are paying attention to these driving practices. There are more than 5,000 pedestrian fatalities a year, so you don’t need to be a passenger in a car to be at risk.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance To Protect Your Family

There are a number of things that can make your life safer and help you avoid some of the most common accidents. But the truth is that there’s no way to prevent everything. The best way to ensure that your family is covered is to make sure your accidental death and dismemberment policy (also known as Personal Accident Insurance, or PAI) is in place so that you can rest assured that, no matter what life brings, you’re prepared. To sign up or enroll for your AD&D insurance policy, contact Member Benefits today.