What Are the Odds of Dying?

The table below was prepared in response to frequent inquiries, especially from the media, 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 table has four columns. The first column gives the manner of injury such as motor-vehicle crash, fall, fire, etc. The second column gives the total number of deaths nationwide due to the manner of injury in 1999 (the latest year for which data are available). The third column gives the odds of dying in one year due to the manner of injury. The fourth column gives the lifetime odds of dying from the manner of injury. Statements about the odds or chances of dying from a given cause of death may be made as follows:

 

  • The odds of dying from (manner of injury) in 1999 were 1 in (value given in the one-year odds column).
  • The life-time odds of dying from (manner of injury) for a person born in 1999 were 1 in (value given in the lifetime odds column).

For example, referring to the first line of the table below:

  • The odds of dying from an injury in 1999 were 1 in 1,805.
  • The lifetime odds of dying from an injury for a person born in 1999 were 1 in 24.

The odds given below are statistical averages over the whole U.S. population and 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). Numbers following titles refer to External Cause of Morbidity and Mortality classifications in ICD-10. One year odds are approximated by dividing the 1999 population (272,820,000) by the number of deaths. Lifetime odds are approximated by dividing the one-year odds by the life expectancy of a person born in 1999 (76.7 years).

 

Odds of Death Due to Injury, United States, 1999

 

TYPE OF ACCIDENT OR MANNER OF INJURY

DEATHS, 1999

ONE YEAR ODDS

LIFETIME ODDS

All External Causes of Mortality, V01-Y98 151,109 1,805 24
  Deaths Due to Unintentional (Accidental) Injuries, V01-X59, Y85-Y86 97,860 2,788 36
    Transport Accidents, V01-V99, Y85 46,423 5,877 77
    Pedestrian, V01-V09 6,047 45,117 588
    Pedalcyclist, V10-V19 800 341,025 4,446
    Motorcycle rider, V20-V29 2,316 117,798 1,536
    Occupant of three-wheeled motor vehicle, V30-V39 33 8,267,273 107,787
    Car occupant, V40-V49 14,549 18,752 244
    Occupant of pick-up truck or van, V50-V59 3,133 87,079 1,135
    Occupant of heavy transport vehicle, V60-V69 422 646,493 8,429
    Bus occupant, V70-V79 62 4,400,323 57,371
    Animal rider or occupant of animal-drawn vehicle, V80 110 2,480,182 32,336
    Occupant of railway train or railway vehicle, V81 54 5,052,222 65,870
    Occupant of streetcar, V82 1 272,820,000 3,556,975
    Other and unspecified land transport accidents, V83-V89 16,992 16,056 209
      Occupant of special industrial vehicle, V83 18 15,156,667 197,610
      Occupant of special agricultural vehicle, V84 348 783,966 10,221
      Occupant of special construction vehicle, V85 38 7,179,474 93,605
      Occupant of all-terrain or other off-road motor vehicle, V86 603 452,438 5,899
      Other and unspecified person, V87-V89 15,985 17,067 223
    Water transport accidents, V90-V94 679 401,797 5,239
      Drowning, V90, V92 501 544,551 7,100
      Other and unspecified injuries, V91, V93-V94 178 1,532,697 19,983
    Air and space transport accidents, V95-V97 715 381,566 4,975
    Other and unspecified transport accidents and sequelae, V98-V99, Y85 510 534,941 6,974
    Other specified transport accidents, V98 8 34,102,500 444,622
    Unspecified transport accident, V99 6 45,470,000 592,829
    Nontransport Unintentional (Accidental) Injuries, W00-X59, Y86 51,437 5,304 69
    Falls, W00-W19 13,162 20,728 270
     Fall on same level from slipping, tripping, and stumbling, W01 611 446,514 5,822
     Other fall on same level, W00, W02-W03, W18 820 332,707 4,338
     Fall involving bed, chair, other furniture, W06-W08 624 437,212 5,700
     Fall on and from stairs and steps, W10 1,421 191,992 2,503
     Fall on and from ladder or scaffolding, W11-W12 375 727,520 9,485
     Fall from out of or through building or structure, W13 550 496,036 6,467
     Other fall from one level to another, W09, W14-W17 772 353,394 4,607
     Other and unspecified fall, W04-W05, W19 7,989 34,149 445
    Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces, W20-W49 2,739 99,606 1,299
     Struck by or striking against object, W20-W22 842 324,014 4,224
     Caught between objects, W23 93 2,933,548 38,247
     Contact with machinery, W24, W30-W31 622 438,617 5,719
     Contact with sharp objects, W25-W29 68 4,012,059 52,308
     Firearms discharge, W32-W34 824 331,092 4,317
     Explosion and rupture of pressurized devices, W35-W38 33 8,267,273 107,787
     Fireworks discharge, W39 7 38,974,286 508,139
     Explosion of other materials, W40 166 1,643,494 21,428
     Foreign body entering through skin or natural orifice, W44-W45 38 7,179,474 93,605
     Other and unspecified inanimate mechanical forces, W41-W43, W49 46 5,930,870 77,326
    Exposure to animate mechanical forces, W50-W64 214 1,274,860 16,621
     Struck by or against another person, W50-W52 52 5,246,538 68,403
     Bitten or struck by dog, W54 25 10,912,800 142,279
     Bitten or struck by other mammals, W53, W55 69 3,953,913 51,550
     Bitten or stung by nonvenomous insect and other arthropods, W57 10 27,282,000 355,698
     Bitten or crushed by other reptiles, W59 45 6,062,667 79,044
     Other and unspecified animate mechanical forces, W56, W58, W60, W64 13 20,986,154 273,613
    Accidental drowning and submersion, W65-W74 3,529 77,308 1,008
     Drowning and submersion while in or falling into a bath tub, W65-W66 320 852,563 11,116
     Drowning and submersion while in or falling into swimming pool, W67-W68 530 514,755 6,711
     Drowning and submersion while in or falling into natural water, W69-W70 1,212 225,099 2,935
     Other and unspecified drowning and submersion, W73-W74 1,467 185,971 2,425
    Other accidental threats to breathing, W75-W84 5,503 49,577 646
     Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed, W75 330 826,727 10,779
     Other accidental hanging and strangulation, W76 307 888,664 11,586
     Threat to breathing due to cave-in, falling earth and other substances, W77 47 5,804,681 75,680
     Inhalation of gastric contents, W78 417 654,245 8,530
     Inhalation and ingestion of food causing obstruction of respiratory tract, W79 640 426,281 5,558
     Inhalation and ingestion of other objects causing obstruction of respiratory tract, W80 2,828 96,471 1,258
     Confined to or trapped in a low-oxygen environment, W81 16 17,051,250 222,311
     Other and unspecified threats to breathing, W83-W84 918 297,190 3,875
    Exposure to electric current, radiation, temperature, and pressure, W85-W99 479 569,562 7,426
     Electric transmission lines, W85 127 2,148,189 28,008
     Other unspecified electric current, W86-W87 310 880,065 11,474
     Radiation, W88-W91 0 --- ---
     Excessive heat or cold of man-made origin, W92-W93 18 15,156,667 197,610
     High and low air pressure and changes in air pressure, W94 22 12,400,909 161,681
     Other and unspecified man-made environmental factors, W99 2 136,410,000 1,778,488
    Exposure to smoke, fire and flames, X00-X09 3,348 81,487 1,062
     Uncontrolled fire in building or structure, X00 2,676 101,951 1,329
     Uncontrolled fire not in building or structure, X01 78 3,497,692 45,602
     Controlled fire in building or structure, X02 56 4,871,786 63,517
     Controlled fire not in building or structure, X03 32 8,525,625 111,155
     Ignition of highly flammable material, X04 73 3,737,260 48,726
     Ignition or melting of nightwear, X05 6 45,470,000 592,829
     Ignition or melting of other clothing and apparel, X06 112 2,435,893 31,759
     Other and unspecified smoke fire and flames, X08-X09 315 866,095 11,292
    Contact with heat and hot substances, X10-X19 123 2,218,049 28,918
     Contact with hot tap-water, X11 51 5,349,412 69,745
     Other and unspecified heat and hot substances, X10, X12-X19 72 3,789,167 49,402
    Contact with venomous animals and plants, X20-X29 61 4,472,459 58,311
     Contact with venomous snakes and lizards, X20 7 38,974,286 508,139
     Contact with venomous spiders, X21 6 45,470,000 592,829
     Contact with hornets, wasps and bees, X23 43 6,344,651 82,720
     Contact with other and unspecified venomous animal or plant, X22, X24-X29 5 54,564,000 711,395
    Exposure to forces of nature, X30-X39 1,488 183,347 2,390
     Exposure to excessive natural heat, X30 594 459,293 5,988
     Exposure to excessive natural cold, X31 598 459,293 5,948
     Lightning, X33 64 4,262,813 55,578
     Earthquake and other earth movements, X34-X36 46 5,930,870 77,326
     Cataclysmic storm, X37 129 2,114,884 27,573
     Flood, X38 15 18,188,000 237,132
     Exposure to other and unspecified forces of nature, X32, X39 42 6,495,714 84,690
    Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances, X40-X49 12,186 22,388 292
     Nonopioid analgesics, antipyretics, and antirheumatics, X40 168 1,623,929 21,172
     Antiepileptic, sedative-hypnotic, antiparkinsonism, and psychotropic drugs n.e.c., X41 671 406,587 5,301
     Narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens] n.e.c., X42 6,009 45,502 592
     Other and unspecified drugs, medicaments, and biologicals, X43-X44 4,307 63,343 826
     Alcohol, X45 320 852,563 11,116
     Gases and vapours, X46-X47 597 456,985 5,958
     Other and unspecified chemicals and noxious substances, X48-X49 114 2,393,158 31,202
    Overexertion, travel and privation, X50-X57 191 1,428,377 18,623
    Accidental exposure to other and unspecified factors and sequelae, X58-X59, Y86 8,414 32,425 423
  Deaths Due to Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide), X60-X84 29,199 9,343 122
    Intentional self-poisoning, X60-X69 4,893 55,757 727
    Intentional self-harm by hanging, strangulation, and suffocation, X70 5,427 50,271 655
    Intentional self-harm by firearm, X72-X74 16,599 16,436 214
    Other and unspecified means and sequelae, X71, X75-X84, Y87.0 2,280 119,658 1,560
  Deaths Due to Assault (Homicide), X85-Y09 16,889 16,154 211
    Assault by firearm, X93-X95 10,828 25,196 328
    Assault by sharp object, X99 1,879 145,194 1,893
    Other and unspecified means and sequelae, X85-X92, X96-X98, Y00-Y09, Y87.1 4,182 65,237 851
  Deaths Due to Events of Undetermined Intent, Y10-Y34 3,917 69,650 908
    Poisoning, Y10-Y19 2,595 105,133 1,371
    Hanging, strangulation, and suffocation, Y20 110 2,480,182 32,336
    Drowning and submersion, Y21 243 1,122,716 14,638
    Firearm discharge, Y22-Y24 324 842,037 10,978
    Exposure to smoke, fire, and flames, Y26 70 3,897,429 50,814
    Falling, jumping, or pushed from a high place, Y30 59 4,624,068 60,288
    Other and unspecified means and sequelae, Y25, Y27-Y29, Y31-Y34, Y87.2, Y89.9 516 528,721 6,893
  Legal Intervention, Y35, Y89.0 398 685,477 8,937
    Legal intervention involving firearm discharge, Y35.0 299 912,441 11,896
    Legal execution, Y35.5 88 3,100,227 40,420
    Other and unspecified means and sequelae, Y35.1-Y35.4, Y35.6-Y35.7, Y89.0 11 24,801,818 323,361
  Operations of War and Sequelae, Y36, Y89.1 23 11,861,739 154,651
  Complications of Medical and Surgical Care and Sequelae, Y40-Y84, Y88.0-Y88.3 2,823 96,642 1,260

October 3, 2002

 

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