The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that some 28 million accidental injuries occur across the country every year. The high number of accidents and the preventable nature of many of these accidents led the National Safety Council to create the Safe Communities America program. More than 70 percent of all fatalities caused by accidental injuries in the United States, according to the NSC, happen in our homes and communities. This means that they often happen under circumstances that we can influence and in scenarios that we may be able to help prevent. In south Florida, if you are injured in your home, community, or anywhere else by the negligence of another person, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical treatment and related expenses by filing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney. The leading causes of accidental deaths in homes and communities include:
- poisonings (including medication-related injuries)
- fire and smoke
The Safe Communities America program works with local communities to prevent these kinds of tragic accidents by providing communities with the experience, technical support, and infrastructure needed to develop prevention strategies. How does it work? The NSC analyzes data to identify the leading causes of injuries and death in the community and then formulates a plan to prevent them from occurring again. After the plan is put in place, the NSC will monitor its success and make adjustments along the way as needed. Communities with the NSC’s Safe Communities Program find that residents come together and form strong relationships as they bond over their desire to create a safer place to live.
The NSC even provides funding. Local fire departments and law enforcement agencies are involved as well as private business owners and the people who live and work in these areas. So far, only 23 NSC-certified “Safe Communities” are operating in the United States, and none are in south Florida. One Midwestern community that participated in this program was able to reduce prescription drug overdoses that had been plaguing the area. The program also educated residents about the dangers of prescription drug use and led to 4.5 tons of unused medications being collected in drop boxes for disposal. This is just one example of many that shows how effective the Safe Communities America program can truly be.
Nevertheless, south Florida communities can be safer if everyone simply pulls his or her fair share. Obey the rules for safe driving and have your tires, lights, and brakes routinely maintained. If you see a dangerous situation in a public location, report it to the appropriate authority. Sometimes a community has to organize for safety – to have a stop sign installed or a lifeguard hired. If you’re able to take a leadership role in community safety – even if it’s just on your block or in your apartment building, do it. And if you’re injured – despite your safety efforts – by someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at once.