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Suicides outpace car crashes as leading cause of deaths from injuries

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By John Bonifield, CNN Medical Producer

(CNN) – Thirteen-year-old Cade Poulos took his own life just as classes were about to begin Wednesday morning, according to CNN affiliate KJRH. The boy’s death in the crowded hallway of his Stillwater, Oklahoma, junior high school is a raw and recent example of suicide in America.

New research in the American Journal of Public Health reports suicides have surpassed car crashes as the nation’s leading cause of injury-related deaths.

The suicide rate increased 15% from 2000 to 2009, according to the report.

In that same period of time the rate of deadly car crashes dropped by 25%, as a wide array of traffic safety interventions were implemented. The down economy may also have kept more people off the road and out of harm’s way.

Poisonings, the third leading cause of injury-related deaths, increased by 128% over the 10 year period, largely because of prescription drug overdoses.