Figure 2.4 Age-adjusted death rates for leading causes of injury: United States, 1995.

Source: Fingerhut and Warner, 1997.

fatality rate increased 13 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that minimum-age drinking laws have reduced traffic fatalities of 18- to 20-year-olds by 13 percent since 1975 and have saved about 15,700 lives (Fingerhut and Warner, 1997). In 1995, 50 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities among 15- to 34-year-olds were alcohol related.

The age-adjusted firearm death rate increased by 22 percent from 12.8 per 100,000 in 1985 to 15.6 per 100,000 in 1993, followed by an 11 percent decline from 1993 to 1995 to 13.9 per 100,000. The increase in firearm death rates can be attributed almost exclusively to an increase in firearm homicides among adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 34. From 1985 to 1993, there was an increase of 83 percent in the firearm homicide rate of 15- to 34-year-olds, followed by a decline of 14 percent from 1993 to 1995 to 13.7 per 100,000 (Fingerhut and Warner, 1997).

The firearm suicide rate for 15- to 34-year-olds increased by 10 percent from 1984 to 1994 and then declined by about 6 percent in 1995. The increase is attributed to an increase in firearm suicides among males by 13 percent from 1985 to 1994 (followed by a decline of 5 percent in 1995). During 1985–1995, the suicide rate of women declined 13 percent (Fingerhut and Warner, 1997).



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