Odds of Dying

Your odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose continue to be greater than dying in a

motor-vehicle crash

Fear is natural and healthy. It can help us respond to danger more quickly or avoid a dangerous situation altogether. It can also cause us to worry about the wrong things, especially when it comes to estimating our level of risk.

If we overestimate our risk in one area, it can lead to anxiety and interfere with carrying out our normal daily routine. Ironically, it also leads us to underestimate real risks that can injure or kill us.

It can be difficult to accurately assess the biggest risks we face. Plane crashes, being struck by lightning, or being attacked by a dog are common fears, but what about falls, the danger inside a bottle of pills, or your drive to work?

Knowing the odds is the first step in beating them. View the video for the latest odds of dying estimates. A summary table of some of the top causes of death is also provided. Please use the data details tab to explore all the odds of dying estimates.

Lifetime odds of death for selected causes, United States, 2022
Cause of Death Odds of Dying
Heart disease 1 in 6
Cancer 1 in 7
All preventable causes of death 1 in 19
COVID-19 1 in 23
Chronic lower respiratory disease 1 in 29
Opioid overdose (accidental) 1 in 55
Suicide 1 in 87
Guns (all intents) 1 in 89
        Suicide with gun 1 in 159
        Gun assault 1 in 219
        Accidental gun discharge 1 in 9,288
Fall 1 in 92
Motor-vehicle crash 1 in 93
Pedestrian incident 1 in 468
Motorcyclist 1 in 722
Drowning 1 in 1,032
Fire or smoke 1 in 1,236
Choking on food 1 in 2,482
Bicyclist 1 in 3,162
Sunstroke 1 in 4,402
Electrocution, radiation, extreme temperatures, and pressure 1 in 15,037
Sharp objects 1 in 21,941
Cataclysmic storm 1 in 27,925
Dog attack 1 in 43,882
Hot surfaces and substances 1 in 46,242
Hornet, wasp, and bee stings 1 in 46,744
Lightning 1 in 186,978
Railway passenger Too few deaths in 2022 to calculate odds
Passenger on an airplane Too few deaths in 2022 to calculate odds

Source: National Safety Council estimates based on data from National Center for Health Statistics—Mortality Data for 2022, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program.  Population and life expectancy data are from the U.S. Census Bureau. Deaths are classified on the basis of the World Health Organization’s 10th Revision of the “The International Classification of Diseases” (ICD-10). Numbers following titles refer to External Cause of Morbidity and Mortality classifications in ICD-10.

See data details