STATISTICS & PREVENTION TIPS
"Spinal cord injuries don’t discriminate." - Darrell Gwynn
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation is dedicated to educating the public about spinal cord injuries with the hopes that we will be a leader in preventing spinal cord injuries from occurring. Most people don't believe a life-changing spinal cord injury could ever happen to them. But the reality is spinal cord injuries do happen. But there are many ways we can protect ourselves and the ones we love from sustaining serious injuries.
We’ve compiled a list of some alarming statistics as well as useful prevention tips to help keep you and your family and friends safe. Please take the time to read below and remember to always “Think Twice, It Could Happen to You."
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
- Every hour of every day someone suffers a spinal cord injury (SCI).
- 262,000 people currently have spinal cord injuries in the United States.
- In the U.S., there are 12,000 new cases of SCI each year.
- The most common age for someone to experience an SCI is 19, and 81% of those injured are male.
- Most people with neurologically complete lesions above C-3 die before receiving medical treatment. Those who survive are usually dependent on mechanical respirators to breathe.
- In 2009, Motor vehicle crashes account for 41% of all SCIs; Sports 8%, Falls 27%, Violence (mostly gunshot wounds) 15%, Other 9%.
- The average annual cost of care for individuals who have a spinal cord injury ranges from $245,000 to $830,000 the first year after injury, with an estimated lifetime cost ranging between $529,000 and $3.3 million depending on the severity of injury.
Driving Safety Prevention Tips
- Don’t text and drive.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Don’t speed or drive recklessly.
- Don’t let your friend text and drive if you are a passenger.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- Never drive through red lights or stop signs.
- Never get in a car driven by someone who has been drinking.
- Never drive if you are exhausted and sleep deprived.
- Never drive if you are taking medications that cause severe drowsiness or dizziness.
Driving Injury Statistics
- In 2009, 10,839 people died in drunk-driving crashes. One every 50 minutes.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 20. 74% of these victims were not wearing a seatbelt.
- More than 250,000 young drivers are injured every year.
- Young drivers are involved in fatal traffic crashes at more than twice the rate as the rest of the population.
- In 2010, 28% of high school students had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
- Every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash.
- Adolescents are far less likely to use seat belts than any other age group.
- About 2 out of every 3 teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 were males.
- When adolescents drive after drinking alcohol, they are more likely than adults to be involved in a crash, even when drinking less alcohol than adults.
- Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
- The portion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
- 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.
- 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving.
Firearm Safety Prevention Tips
- Never handle a gun in front of children.
- Use gun lock safety devices in firearms.
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
- Always take the necessary gun safety classes and become certified before owning a gun.
- Never leave guns unsecured where children or strangers can have access to them.
- Never keep a loaded gun at home accessible to children.
- Never bring a gun to school or the workplace.
- Never handle a gun carelessly or try to showoff to your friends.
- When hunting, always ensure each hunter is positioned safely and not in the line of fire.
- Never let someone who is not experienced or trained properly handle your gun.
Firearm Injury Statistics
- 12% of high school students have carried a weapon to school.
- Approximately 3.3 million children in the US live in households with firearms that are, at times, kept loaded and unlocked.
- More than 44 million Americans own firearms.
- A gun kept in the home is 43 times more likely to kill someone known to the family than to kill someone in self-defense.
- Unintentional shootings account for nearly 20 percent of all firearm-related fatalities among children ages 14 and under.
- It is estimated that 40 percent of all homes in the US have some type of firearm, of which one in four is a handgun.
Fall Prevention Safety Tips
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to reduce side effects and interactions that may cause dizziness or drowsiness.
- Use handrails when walking up or down the stairs.
- Pay attention to where you are walking to avoid unnecessary falls.
- Do not skateboard on steps, ramps, curbs or guardrails on public streets or plazas. (Find a skate park that is safe for this activity)
- Do not take dares to jump off of elevated places to impress your friends.
- Do not participate in horseplay antics such as street-fighting
- Do not participate in mixed martial arts or boxing unless it is in an authorized and safe environment such as a gym or classroom with a professional trainer.
- Do not attempt tricks with your bike on the streets or on unsafe trails.
- Do not jump off of moving vehicles such as cars, bikes, boats, jet-skis, wave runners, ATV’s, motorcycles, etc.
- Keep your bathroom/shower area clean and use bathroom matts to avoid falls by slipping.
- Avoid walking around your home at night with poor lighting that may lead to falls. Use nightlights.
- Keep your home free of any obstacles such as electrical cords, phone cords or objects that are out-of-place that may be a hazard for tripping.
Fall Injury Statistics
- One out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year.
- The death rates from falls among older men and women have risen sharply over the past decade.
- More than 2.3 million children ages 14 and under are treated annually at hospital emergency rooms for fall-related injuries.
Water Safety Prevention Tips
- Avoid head-first diving into shallow water, waves, off piers, rocks, jetties or surfboards.
- "Look before you leap."
- Do not mix alcohol with swimming, diving or boating. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills, and reduces your body's ability to stay warm.
- Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.
- Do not dive into unknown waters. The water may be shallower than it appears or may have deadly hazards such as rocks or logs just beneath the surface.
- Avoid attempting flips in acrobats when diving. An awkward landing, even in water, can cause a spinal cord injury.
Water Injury Statistics
- Alcohol use is involved in as many as half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation and about one-in-five reported boating fatalities.
- More than 50% of all diving accidents involve alcohol. Don't drink and dive.