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5. Accidental falls were the most common accidents leading to death

Fatal accidents include such as fatal traffic accidents, fatal falls and stumbles, drownings, fatal fires and alcohol and drug poisonings. Accident mortality has continuously been higher for men than women, although the highs and lows have occurred at the same time for both genders. Accident mortality among young people is more general than average for the whole population.

Figure 8. Accident mortality in 1969 to 2011

Figure 8. Accident mortality in 1969 to 2011

A total of 2,766 persons died in accidents in 2011, of whom 1,846 were men and 920 women. Accidents caused nearly six per cent of all deaths. In 2011 the most common accident leading to death among both men and women was a stumble or fall, which caused the death of 1,212 persons. Over one third of men's fatal accidents and over one half of women's were caused by stumbles and falls. In 2011, a total of 300 persons died in transportation accidents (excl. drowning accidents in water traffic), three-quarter of whom were men. Among men more than one in ten fatal accidents took place in traffic (transportation), among women slightly fewer..

Contribution of intoxication to fatal accidents

In 2011, 19 per cent of those dying accidentally (excl. poisonings) were intoxicated. In fatal accidents intoxication means that the doctor signing the death certificate judged that alcohol had contributed to the death. The figures exclude alcohol and drug poisonings where alcohol or drugs have directly caused the death. In heat of sauna deaths 24 out of 38 persons were intoxicated at death. In fire deaths and among those dying of cold slightly under one half were intoxicated, in drowning accidents over half were intoxicated. Slightly more than every fifth road traffic fatality occurred while intoxicated.

More than half of those that died in drowning accidents were intoxicated

The number of drownings has been around 200 in recent years. In 2011, 163 persons drowned, three-quarters of whom were men. Of these, 43 drowned in water traffic. In Finland alcohol is very often connected to drowning accidents. Slightly over one half of drowning cases occur while intoxicated, even more in summer months.

Figure 9. Drowning accident mortality in 1998 to 2011

Figure 9. Drowning accident mortality in 1998 to 2011

Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marja-Liisa Helminen 09 1734 3273, Airi Pajunen 09 1734 3605,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Updated 21.12.2012

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2011, 5. Accidental falls were the most common accidents leading to death . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 25.4.2024].
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