TERRE HAUTE Ind. (WTHI)- For the first time ever, Americans are now more likely to die of an opioid drug overdose than a car accident.
In fact, your chances of dying in a car crash are 1 in 103.
Your chances of dying of a drug overdose are 1 in 96.
That's according to the National Safety Council.
Dr. Roland Kohr is a Forensic Pathologist at Regional Hospital.
He said he's seen this trend growing over the years.
Kohr said seeing more deaths from drug overdoses compared to car accidents don't come as a surprise.
"There will always be a certain background level of accidental deaths because of motor vehicles, because of industrial situations drownings in the summer. While those things are staying pretty well steady and not significantly changing, again what we're seeing is a major shift in is drug overdoses," said Kohr.
Kohr said annually, he deals with fewer deaths related to car accidents than overdoses.
"The last four or five years the most common accidental death we're classifying is drug-related. We see maybe one or two motor vehicle accidents a month," said Kohr.
The latest numbers do come as a shock to some local officials.
That includes Deputy Jason Bobbitt of the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
He said this new report should grab the attention of the public.
"We have a problem. There's an addiction to opioids that is continuing to grow and we need to try and grasp ahold of it," said Bobbitt.
Whether it's a surprise or not, many can agree the drug epidemic needs to be addressed.
"Over the last five years and maybe going back ten, drug overdoses whether it be opiates, methamphetamines things of that type have just been skyrocketing," said Kohr.
Kohr said part of the reason traffic-related deaths are going down is because of better vehicle safety features like airbags and seat belts.
The report still has heart disease and cancer-related deaths at the top of the list.