It might seem a bit morbid, but human nature leads us to contemplate our demise. We sometimes wonder, "What are my odds of dying from..."?Are you more likely to be killed in a car crash or shot to death by an assailant? Is it really that rare to be struck by lightning? Here at the National Safety Council, we get those questions a lot.
So, we put together the Odds of Dying chart below. (Here's another way to look at it.) Keep in mind these odds are statistical averages over the entire U.S. population and do not necessarily reflect the chances of death for a particular person from a particular external cause. Odds of dying are affected by an individual’s activities, occupation, and where he or she lives and drives, among other things.
That being said, if the odds of dying from all possible causes are 1:1, here are the lifetime odds of death for selected causes, from most likely to least:
|Cause of Death||Odds of Dying|
|Heart Disease and Cancer||1:7|
|Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease||1:28|
|Unintentional Poisoning By and Exposure to Noxious Substances||1:109|
|Motor Vehicle Crash||1:112|
|Assault by Firearm||1:358|
|Motorcycle Rider Incident||1:911|
|Unintentional Drowning and Submersion||1:1,113|
|Exposure to Fire, Flames or Smoke||1:1,442|
|Choking from Inhalation and Ingestion of Food||1:3,375|
|Exposure to Excessive Natural Heat||1:6,745|
|Air and Space Transport Incidents||1:8,015|
|Exposure to Electric Current, Radiation, Temperature and Pressure||1:12,220|
|Contact with Sharp Objects||1:37,351|
|Contact with Hornets, Wasps and Bees||1:55,764|
|Contact with Heat and Hot Substances||1:59,093|
|Being Bitten or Struck by a Dog||1:116,448|
Source: National Safety Council estimates based on data from National Center for Health Statistics–Mortality Data for 2011, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Deaths are classified on the basis of the 10th revision of the World Health Organization’s The International Classification of Diseases (ICD). For additional mortality figures, and estimated one-year and lifetime odds, see Injury Facts® 2015 Edition, pages 40-43.