The Odds Of Dying In A Freak Accident Are Higher Than You Think

When I hear that someone died in some freak accident that involves fireworks or sidewalks or parked cars or wild animals, I wonder to myself, what the hell are the odds of that freaking happening? The good thing? They're pretty high! The bad thing? It really, really sucks for that poor soul who's one in 50,729,141 to die from fireworks or one in 25,364,571 to die from a bee sting.

The Economist put together this nifty infographic showing the odds of death in certain circumstances in the US (and usually a little off the wall). It spurred from the fact that an asteroid was going to pass by Earth and how death by asteroid compares to death by everything else. Here's the full infographic below. I still think death by asteroid is the best and probably most fun way to go out.

[The Economist via Laughing Squid]


    "The good thing? They’re pretty high!" - that's opposite, the odds are actually very very low and unlikely to happen.

      aren't the odds high with a low probability of the accident happening?

    Most of those dont really apply in the sense of "your random chance of dying at any given moment" kind of thing.

    I for one live in a house so no cold death for me, i dont go outside during thunder or a storm and the storms arn't enough to kill me through my house (no trees close enough to do damage either), im not depressed or suicidal. Dont cycle or have fire arms in the house (hell we dont have gun assaults in australia almost at all) and i don't drink, ever.

    so gotta say my chances are pretty damn good that i'll live for a looong time.

      Famous. Last. Words..

      Of course if you stay inside all your life and don't get any exercise then you may fall into that 467/1 chance group of dying of heart problems, depending on your diet.

        O.o because going outside in a storm = never leaving your house and exercising how?

          Well there's the 54,538/1 chance of dying while walking.

      kingpotato clearly has seen storms with lightning that can destroy houses, hail that smashes roofs or extreme winds that destroy whole houses.

    It's strange how people will bet that they'll win the Powerball (odds = 54,979,155/1) yet the same people don't think they will die from bee stings which is more than twice as likely (25,364,571/1).

    Well I'm gonna go play with fireworks, it sounds pretty safe.

    The big problem with this and many other studies commonly used is they are very poor at determining risk for events that occur very infrequently, but that have a large impact. Comet/asteroid impact is a classic. Once every 60 million years almost every larger life form on earth gets wiped out. This doesn't work well with their statistical models, but you end up with chances like 100/1. This seems to be wrong, but it may be closer to being right than the number stated above.

    1 in 75 Mil for asteroid... sounds too high. Over six billion people on earth, I've never heard of anyone getting killed by an asteroid, ever. I've been on Earth for over 30 years.

      Well now... it seems like I'm an idiot. Apparently there were like over 500 injuries by this latest Russian one. Which suggests deaths can and do occur.

    If there is a potentially unlimited number of ways to die from a freak accident, then no matter how rare, wouldn't the sum mean that we should be dead already?

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