Report: Indiana Firearm Deaths Outnumber Fatal Car Crashes

Programs Aim To Prevent Violent Deaths

A controversial report on crime and safety casts a negative light on Indiana.

According to the Washington-based Violence Policy Center, Indiana was among nine other states that had a higher death rate from firearms than from motor vehicle crashes.

Across the country in 2009, 36,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes and 31,000 people died from gunshot wounds.

Wishard Memorial Hospital has a program that caters specifically to patients in the trauma center who have been injured by firearms.

"We hope to have a conversation with them and their families and try and come up with a plan of education and prevention according to the needs of that particular patient,” Dr. Gerardo Gomez said. "If the patient needs help getting back to high school, we connect them to that. If they need help with drug addiction, we connect them to that agency."

In the past five years, Wishard’s program has reduced the rate of return victims from 30 percent down to 1 percent, proof that prevention is the best medicine.

Fatal car crashes have trended downward in the past six years, thanks to better education, driver training, safer roads, safer cars and better emergency responses, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

Police said that 40 percent of all fatal car crashes involve high speed, alcohol and drug use, all of which are preventable risk factors.

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