Your odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose continue to be greater than dying in a
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, 2020|
|Cause of Death||Odds of Dying|
|Heart disease||1 in 6|
|Cancer||1 in 7|
|COVID-19||1 in 12|
|All preventable causes of death||1 in 21|
|Chronic lower respiratory disease||1 in 28|
|Opioid overdose||1 in 67|
|Suicide||1 in 93|
|Motor-vehicle crash||1 in 101|
|Fall||1 in 102|
|Gun assault||1 in 221|
|Pedestrian incident||1 in 541|
|Motorcyclist||1 in 799|
|Drowning||1 in 1,024|
|Fire or smoke||1 in 1,450|
|Choking on food||1 in 2,745|
|Bicyclist||1 in 3,396|
|Sunstroke||1 in 6,368|
|Accidental gun discharge||1 in 7,998|
|Electrocution, radiation, extreme temperatures, and pressure||1 in 14,705|
|Sharp objects||1 in 26,744|
|Cataclysmic storm||1 in 35,074|
|Hot surfaces and substances||1 in 50,341|
|Hornet, wasp, and bee stings||1 in 57,825|
|Dog attack||1 in 69,016|
|Lightning||Too few deaths in 2020 to calculate odds|
|Railway passenger||Too few deaths in 2020 to calculate odds|
|Passenger on an airplane||Too few deaths in 2020 to calculate odds|
Source: National Safety Council estimates based on data from National Center for Health Statistics—Mortality Data for 2020, 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 10th 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.