The State

Accidents rank as the fourth-leading cause of death in California, a report released by the state Department of Health Services has confirmed. The report, "Mortality From Unintentional Injuries in California, 1985" showed that only heart disease, cancer and strokes killed more Californians. The study said 10,380 deaths in 1985 were found to be the result of unintentional injuries. The leading cause of the deaths, by far, is traffic accidents, the report found. In 1985, there were 5,158 traffic deaths, or nearly half of all unintentional deaths that year. Poisoning (including drug overdoses) accounted for 1,425 deaths, followed by falls, which caused 1,126 deaths. "This report is a significant step toward developing more effective injury surveillance and prevention in California," said State Health Director Kenneth Kizer. "The report highlights major causes of unintentional injury deaths warranting further investigation and appropriate prevention measures."

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