NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts has the second lowest rate of injury deaths in the U.S. according to a new report.
The study ranks all 50 U.S. states.
Massachusetts gets good marks for requiring booster seats, having a vaccinated population, having a bicycle helmet law, and having a low homicide rate. But the report says Massachusetts can do better by creating a primary seatbelt law, and requiring ignition locks for drunk drivers.
The report also says drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury deaths in Massachusetts; surpassing even car accidents.
Northampton Public Health Director Merridith O’Leary told 22News there’s still a lot of public health work that needs to be done to combat the area’s opioid crisis.
“In 2014 we’ve had over 1,000 deaths reported related to opioids. That’s heroin and prescription drug use and the three largest cities still haven’t reported their numbers so that number is going to increase,” said O’Leary.
Massachusetts does have a prescription drug monitoring program to make sure doctor’s aren’t over prescribing pills.
Across the country, injuries are responsible for 193,000 deaths every year.