Last year saw another rise in gun-related deaths in the U.S., fueled primarily by an increase in suicides and surpassing the rate of deaths due to car accidents, according to Vox.
The new data, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that the gun death rate hit 12.2 per 100,000 people in 2017, up from 12 in 2016 and 10.3 in 1999 (the earliest year of data available). The gun suicide rate increased to 7.3 in 2017, from 7.1 in 2016, while the gun homicide rate remained flat at 4.5.
The total gun death rate surpassed the car crash death rate of 11.9 per 100,000 people, as the rate of car crash deaths has steadily decreased while the gun death rate has increased over the years.
Of the nearly 40,000 gun-related deaths last year, about 24,000 (60 percent) were suicides; more than 14,000 (nearly 37 percent) were homicides; and the remaining were accidents and the result of legal interventions such as police shootings, Vox reported.
Even before the recent increases, America was an outlier for gun deaths among developed nations. A recent study in JAMA found that the US’s civilian gun death rate is nearly four times that of Switzerland, five times that of Canada, 35 times that of the United Kingdom, and 53 times that of Japan.