ITASCA, Ill. (AP) -- A new report says the nation's accidental death rate has been gradually creeping higher since 1992.
The Itasca based National Safety Council warns that if the trend continues, the nation could surpass the all-time high of 116-thousand-385 accidental deaths set in 1969.
The rate of accidental deaths -- a number adjusted for population growth -- made a steady decline from 1969 until 1992.
But ground is being lost because of increasing rates of falls among the elderly and accidental fatal overdoses of medications or illegal drugs.
Illinois was among states with the lowest accidental death rates in the nation in 2003, the most recent year of data analyzed by the council for the report released yesterday.
New Mexico had the highest accidental death rate, and Massachusetts had the lowest.