Guns trump cars as the biggest killer of young Americans

The United States has a notoriously poor road safety record with an estimated 38,680 deaths in 2020 among a population of 331 million. By comparison, the UK, which has a population of 67 million, recorded 1,390 road deaths in the 12 months ending June last year.

However, a slow decline in road deaths has coincided with an alarming rise in firearm homicides, which, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, are up 33.4% in 2020.

The 19,384 gun murders that year represented the highest number since 1968.

This sharp rise in gun deaths coincided with a surge in gun ownership in the US with 7.5 million Americans, nearly three percent of the population, buying guns for the first time during the pandemic between January and April 2021.

It meant that five million children were exposed to domestic firearms.

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