Inquiring Minds: What kills more people?

Q. What kills more people — guns or car crashes?

A. It’s almost a grim tie. According to the Center for Disease Control, the year 2016 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) counted 33,736 motor vehicle traffic deaths and 33, 594 deaths from firearms. There are, however, some interesting details behind those statistics. Death rates from auto accidents have steadily declined, as have accident rates overall. Motor vehicle accident death rates are now only 42% of what they were in 1970. However, the use of firearms in suicide and homicide have both increased in recent decades to the point that gun deaths, at the present rate, may overtake death by auto accident. 

(Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] at


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