For the first time on record, your odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose are 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 of a bottle of pills, or your drive to work?
Knowing the odds is the first step in beating them.
|Lifetime odds of death for selected causes, United States, 2017|
|Cause of Death||Odds of Dying|
|Heart Disease||1 in 6|
|Cancer||1 in 7|
|Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease||1 in 27|
|Suicide||1 in 88|
|Opioid overdose||1 in 96|
|Motor Vehicle Crash||1 in 103|
|Fall||1 in 114|
|Gun Assault||1 in 285|
|Pedestrian Incident||1 in 556|
|Motorcyclist||1 in 858|
|Drowning||1 in 1,117|
|Fire or Smoke||1 in 1,474|
|Choking on Food||1 in 2,696|
|Bicyclist||1 in 4,047|
|Accidental Gun Discharge||1 in 8,527|
|Sunstroke||1 in 8,912|
|Electrocution, Radiation, Extreme Temperatures and Pressure||1 in 15,638|
|Sharp objects||1 in 28,000|
|Cataclysmic Storm||1 in 31,394|
|Hot surfaces and substances||1 in 46,045|
|Hornet, wasp and bee stings||1 in 46,562|
|Dog attack||1 in 115,111|
|Passenger on an airplane||1 in 188,364|
|Lightning||1 in 218,106|
|Railway passenger||1 in 243,765|
Source: National Safety Council estimates based on data from National Center for Health Statistics—Mortality Data for 2017, 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 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.