Family Law Blog

Divorce Increases Risk of Accident Mortality

Saturday, November 02, 2013
There seems to be a never-ending stream of interesting research literature involving divorce and other family law-related issues recently. In fact, one recent study holds that people who are divorced are much more likely to die in accidents, compared to married persons.

The research was conducted by sociologists at Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania. The research determined that divorced people were as much as twice as likely as married people, to die from preventable causes of accidental death as defined by the World Health Organization. These causes include fire, smoke inhalation, poisoning, plane crashes and accidents. In fact, according to the researchers, compared to married people, single people are twice as likely to die from some of the most preventable causes of accidental death, like poisoning. They also have a likelihood of dying in the least preventable causes of accidental death, like car crashes, that is the same as for married people.

The study involved a total of 1.3 million adults above the age of 81. These people had either been killed in or survived accidents between 1986 and 2006, and the data came from the National Health Interview Survey.

According to the researchers, it is interesting that marital status so heavily influenced a person's risk of surviving an accident. It is likely that married people receive positive support from their spouses that reduces their risk of fatal injuries. Besides, spouses may discourage risk-taking by a partner, and may also offer immediate support that dramatically lowers a person’s risk of dying after suffering injuries.

The researchers believe that their study very firmly proves that social relationships, and especially marriage, do help prolong life, especially in cases where death occurs due to preventable factors, and could reasonably be avoided.