Injury and Violence Prevention
What’s the Story?
Maintaining a healthy environment is central to increasing quality of life and years of healthy life. Regardless of age, gender, race, or income level, injury is a major cause of death and disability in New Jersey. Injury is the fourth leading cause of death overall, resulting in more than 3,500 deaths annually. These deaths are a result of a variety of injuries including motor vehicle crashes, unintentional poisonings, occupational injuries, suicides, and homicides. Yet injuries are generally not random and uncontrollable events, and they can often be prevented.
By the Numbers
Unintentional poisoning (overdose) has overtaken motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in New Jersey. The death rate is highest among males who are three times more likely to die from an overdose than females. Additionally, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of injury in New Jersey. Rates are highest among young adults and the elderly, and over 70% of motor vehicle-related fatalities are among males. Each year there are approximately 300,000 motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey, resulting in an average of 6,900 hospitalized injuries and 600 deaths.
Violence is another leading cause of injury and death, and a major public health problem in the United States and in New Jersey. Homicide is the second leading cause of death among persons ages 15 to 24. In New Jersey, there is an average of 400 homicides per year. Homicide victims are predominantly male, accounting for nearly 90% of homicides in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Violent Death Reporting System (NJVDRS) was established and is maintained through a cooperative agreement with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is housed in the NJDOH Center for Health Statistics (CHS). The NJVDRS is a violence surveillance system that links data from death certificates, medical examiners, and police reports to create a rich dataset that is timelier than traditional death certificate data alone. NJVDRS data have been used by NJDOH, other State Departments, local health and community groups, and researchers at academic institutions in New Jersey to support intervention and prevention programs, grant proposals, and state and collaborative initiatives to reduce the number of deaths due to violence. An example of this inter-departmental approach comes from collaboration with the Department of Children and Families and the New Jersey Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Council to develop a Youth Suicide Prevention Plan, and again used NJVDRS data to support their objectives.
Did you know
Homicide victims in New Jersey are disproportionately young black males. Among female homicide victims, nearly 40% are killed by a current or former intimate partner.
The most recent average annual suicide count among New Jersey residents is 570. (Taken from SHAD)
To Learn More
For more information, please refer to these resources:
* Rate per 100,000 population
† Only one year of data currently available