We all enter this world in more or less the same way. But our modes of departure vary greatly and some deaths occur in ways one would never expect. Below are a few of the more surprising causes of death – a number of rather mundane activities – that occur more often than you’d think:
Perhaps to nobody’s surprise texting while driving is becoming a leader in fatal car accidents. But the statistics are shocking: a study in Virginia found that drivers who text while behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than non-texting drivers.
While the likelihood of being hit and killed by something falling out of the sky seems low, the sad fact is that dozens of people die each year when struck by falling icicles. Buildings along busy sidewalks are especially dangerous during the winter time in colder climates. So the next time you stop to admire the beauty of a hanging icicle, keep in mind that large icicles also pose a threat – so try to avoid walking under them.
Normally you wouldn’t think that a trip to the mall would prove dangerous, but reality is that any place with vending machines can prove dangerous. In fact, vending machines that fall over kill more than a dozen people per year. Office buildings, convenience stores and even school hallways could be potential death traps if vending machines are not firmly secured in place.
Ever roll out of bed at the end of a bad dream? Falling out of bed, which may seem like a relatively common occurrence, can lead to serious injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falling out of bed results in 1.8 million visits to the emergency room and more than 400 admissions to the hospital each year. Young children, who are just learning to sleep in a regular bed, are even more susceptible to injury, as are adults over the age of 65.
Animals are also a large factor in a number of deadly incidents. Dog bites result in an estimated 1,000 emergency room visits and 34 deaths in the U.S. each year. Children bitten in the face are the most likely to be severely or fatally injured. Perhaps even more surprising than injury rates resulting from dog bites is the threat posed by the hippopotamus. Responsible for some 2,900 deaths in Africa per year, hippos weigh up to 8,000 pounds, can run 18 miles per hour, and are aggressive and unpredictable.
If the hippo is the animal to avoid on land, then the jellyfish is the one to watch out for when strolling into the ocean. While most aren’t deadly, stepping on some species can cause anaphylaxis or even death.
And while the ants on the kitchen counter may be a nuisance at least they aren’t likely to kill you – as a number of ant colonies can. Those found in Africa, such as the fire ant and Siafu ant, are downright deadly deadly. With up to 20 million ants per colony anyone who dozes off near one runs the risks of suffering an attack and dying of anaphylactic shock.
While the number of these fatal accidents is surprising, the deadly statistics related to slightly more adventurous activities may be less so. Thrill-seekers expose themselves to some known risks, although many may not realize the level of the danger. American roller coasters, for example, average one injury per 124,000 riders – not bad odds – but given their popularity and prevalence at theme parks, that works out to around four people dying on coasters each year.
In many of these tragic incidents, the actual injury or death may be caused due to negligence of another driver, a property owner or even a pet owner. If you have lost a loved one and believe it is because of the carelessness of another, speak with an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death cases to learn about your options.