homicides (15 percent of all injury deaths, at a rate of 8.6 per 100,000) and 31,284 suicides (21 percent of injury fatalities, at a rate of 11.9 per 100,000).
For at least the past 30 years, motor vehicle and firearm injuries have been the two leading causes of injury death (see Chapter 5). In 1995, motor vehicle traffic-related injuries accounted for 29 percent of all injury deaths, or 42,452 deaths. Firearm injuries accounted for 24 percent of all injury deaths and claimed a total of 35,957 lives. Motor vehicle deaths are generally classified as unintentional, whereas firearm injuries have been classified primarily as intentional. Of deaths due to firearms, 51 percent were suicides, 43 percent homicides, 3 percent unintentional, and approximately 3 percent other.
Poisonings were the third leading cause of injury death (11 percent), followed by falls and suffocation (8 and 7 percent, respectively); drownings, fires and burns, and cutting and piercing injuries accounted for another 9 percent of all injury deaths (see Figure 2.3) (Fingerhut and Warner, 1997).