Are you more likely to die from an opioid overdose or a car crash?

New data from the National Security Council suggests a new answer to this question for the first time ever in American history.

According to the NSC, a person is more likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash.

The odds of dying accidentally from an opioid overdose have risen to one in 96, while the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash remain at one in 103. 

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“We’ve made significant strides in overall longevity in the United States, but we are dying from things typically called accidents at rates we haven’t seen in half a century,” said Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at NSC. “We cannot be complacent about 466 lives lost every day. This new analysis reinforces that we must consistently prioritize safety at work, at home and on the road to prevent these dire outcomes.”

Data on opioid deaths from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attribute the increase in opioid-related deaths to the rise in overdoes of fentanyl

This new data means that opioid overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death, with motor vehicle crashes and accidental falls (one in 114) the second and third highest, respectively.

The NSC's analysis comes on the heels of other troubling news regarding opioids and opioid-related death. A new report published just before the end of 2018 in the journal JAMA Network Open revealed that nearly 9,000 pediatric deaths were attributed to opioids from 1999 through 2016 - a mortality rate that nearly tripled during the time span.

RELATED: 4 Ways Health IT Can Aid in the Fight Against Opioids

Other discouraging opioid-related stats:

  • On average, 130 Americans die every day from opioid overdose
  • As opioid-related deaths rise, life expectancy is declining
  • Americans also have a higher chance of dying from opioids than drowning, choking, gun assaults and pedestrian incidents

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