Responding to frequent inquiries asking questions such as, "What are the odds of being killed by lightning?" or "What are the chances of dying in a plane crash?" the Injury Facts® 2014 edition includes a comprehensive table of the odds of dying due to injury from a variety of causes.
The Odds of Dying graphic from page 43 of Injury Facts 2014 edition visually represents the lifetime odds of death for selected causes. The total lifetime odds of death from any cause are 1 in 1 or 100%, and thus the largest rectangle representing the total odds actually extends off the page in all directions to infinity. The rectangles for the selected causes are sized according to their relative lifetime probabilities, with the least probable event - death from being struck by lightning - depicted using the smallest box. For a complete listing of both the one year odds and lifetime odds of dying please see pages 40 through 43 of the 2014 edition of Injury Facts®.
The odds of dying are statistical averages over the whole U.S. population. They do not necessarily reflect the chances of death for a particular person from a particular external cause. Any individual's odds of dying from various external causes are affected by the activities in which they participate, where they live and drive, what kind of work they do, and other factors.
Source: National Safety Council estimates based on data from National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. Deaths are classified on the basis of the Tenth Revision of the World Health Organization’s "The International Classification of Diseases" (ICD).
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