Here are your odds of dying from a wasp sting, sunstroke, drowning, alcohol poisoning, medical mishap, and other unfortunate experiences

Originally published at: Here are your odds of dying from a wasp sting, sunstroke, drowning, alcohol poisoning, medical mishap, and other unfortunate experiences | Boing Boing


I have a similar chart from around 20 years ago. It is a simple design with circles and a fold out card stock where they circles get smaller as the risks go down.

I thought it was an interesting design and kept it.

I’m a bit surprised to see aircraft accidents that high. Either I’m unduly confident about the state of commercial aviation or things must be slightly hairy in recreational and specialty flying.

I’m also deeply surprised to see direct alcohol poisoning come in that high. Indirect effect on both accidental and intentional mortality, absolutely(probably deserves credit for a solid percentage of those motor vehicle accidents, building fires, chokings, drownings, and negligent discharges), along with a variety of nasty effects on the health of chronic users; but I would have thought that achieving an outright lethal dose and going unnoticed and untreated would have been less common.


I’ve heard the odds of winning Powerball are even lower than being attacked by a shark WHILE simultaneously being struck by lightning.

This guy should definitely go by a few tickets…

A fisherman who survived a shark bite on vacation said the ordeal is his latest brush with death after previously being struck by lightning and getting attacked by snakes and even monkeys.

1 Like

The source article says that accidental gun deaths are a “tiny 1% of all gun deaths”. So if they represent a 1 in 7,998 chance of dying, that means your chances of dying from a non-accidental shooting are 1 in 80. Holy shit. I knew it was high, but greater than even traffic deaths?

Though you do have a 100% chance of dying. The rest is just bookkeeping.


Compare it to motor vehicle accidents and you’ll want to fly all the time. In the infographic they are talking about lifetime odds. With transport you often see comparisons with miles traveled or the chance of dying on any one journey. Some out of date numbers for the chance of dying on any one journey are:

  • Car trip, coast-to-coast: 1 in 14,000
  • Train, coast-to-coast: 1 in 1,000,000
  • U.S. commercial jet airline: 1 in 7 million

Note that these are the odds for the whole journey and you would be getting in and out of the car multiple times for the whole trip. Anyway take the plane. . .



the presence of a gun dramatically increases the chance that suicidal thoughts will lead to death, and of course there’s the non negligible chance of outright murder especially for women in domestic violence situations and for black men generally

cars get safer every year. guns get more numerous and more deadly.

but at least we have the right to bear arms. hooray.

eta: mass shootings are frequent, more than one a day so far this year, but statistically they don’t add much directly. ( maybe indirectly as everyone goes to buy more guns to keep themselves “safe” )

here’s today’s latest:


My weakened eyes don’t see this entry on the graphic, so maybe I just missed it, but I’m most likely to be whacked by a falling tree. Unless a wandering puma takes me first. One got a nearby goat last week. Yikes.

I have no idea how statistics work but I don’t drink alcohol so those odds drop significantly.

Same thing with flying, I don’t fly so unless an airplane falls on me.

No swimming pools for me either but I do live on a lake so when I trip cutting my lawn and fall into the lake…

I didn’t see breaking my neck tripping on a cat that’s sleeping on the steps. That’s high up in our house.


Thanks, wow. Just what we know of deaths of young Black men in general, that puts their odds of a gun death at likely 5x or more of mine (old white man). Hell of a silver lining. Crap.

There were 3.2 million deaths in the US in 2022 and 45,000 firearm fatalities. That makes the odds in 2022 about 1 in 71. So it’s worse than 1 in 80. Yikes!

it’s pretty stark indeed. i’m certain that if white men were dying at that rate, the changes to gun laws would be immediate and irrevocable.

instead, it’s an excuse for police to use groups like the “scorpion” unit that killed tyre nichols. which also doesn’t affect white men, and so that too goes unchanged

white supremacy is depressingly consistent


never tell me the odds GIF


Mark my words, that’s how I’m going to end up going.


Me too, I have been trying to grasp what micromorts (and microlives) are and why they aren’t cumulative/are cumulative.

Ronn Cobb did one of his usual biting cartoons for the old Los Angeles Free Press sometime after one of the Watts (ghetto) riots, depicting an old White guy occupying a bus-stop bench.

The caption: “I’ve lived in this town for over sixty years and I never once have been brutalized by the police.”

Imagine that. /s


It’s because we systemically give a shit about auto safety, while inversely giving no shit about gun safety. The lines on the graph crossed a while ago, and the gap will widen.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.