Illinois and Missouri were ranked on opposite ends of the spectrum in a new study on preventable deaths and accidents.
The National Safety Council published its annual report, documenting which states were doing well in protecting its residents from deaths from things like distracted driving, prescription painkillers and falls. Each state is graded based on actions and policies they have taken, or not taken, to reduce risks. The ranking covers road, home, community and workplace safety.
Illinois was one of the seven states plus Washington, D.C., to get a “B” ranking. Missouri, along with 10 other states, received an “F” ranking. No states earned an A; the National Safety Council said no state does enough to protect its residents from preventable deaths.
Overall, Illinois was ranked second, just behind Maryland. Missouri fell dead last.
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“The state of safety in America is perilous,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah Hersman. “We cannot afford to sit back while we lose more than 140,000 people because of issues we know how to prevent. This report provides states with a blueprint for saving lives, and we hope lawmakers, civic leaders, public health professionals and safety advocates heed the recommendations outlined within it to make states and communities measurably safer.”
Fatalities from poisonings, motor vehicle crashes, drowning, falls, choking and fires have increased 7 percent since 2014, according to the 2017 Injury Facts report. Around 40.6 million people are injured from preventable accidents, and 146,000 are killed, according to the report.
Illinois was one of the two states to receive an “A” grade for workplace safety, but is still overlooking opportunities to protect workers, according to the study. For roads, Illinois also received an “A” grade, but earned a low “C” for home and community safety, which includes things like fires, falls and overdoses.
Southern Illinois, especially, is struggling with what some are calling an epidemic of opioid overdoses.
Missouri earned “F” grades for all three sections. It’s low grades came from what the NSC sees as inadequate laws for child car seats, distracted driving, seat belt regulations, speeding, teen drivers and helmet regulations for bikers and motorcyclists. NCS also said the state needs stricter laws for firearms, smoke alarm installations, drug overdose and poisoning prevention and concussions.
Illinois also had a few areas with inadequate laws, like for child car seats, helmet regulations, smoke alarm regulations and protection against falling in older adults.