Calm Down … You Are Much More Likely To Be Killed By Boring, Mundane Things Than Terrorism

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Statistics Show You Are NOT Going to Be Killed by Terrorism

We noted in 2011:

– You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

– You are 12,571 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

– You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane

– You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack

– You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack

– You are 87 times more likely to drown than die in a terrorist attack

– You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack

– You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack

– You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack

– You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist

– You are 8 times more likely to die from accidental electrocution than from a terrorist attack

– You are 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack

Let’s look at some details from the most recent official statistics.

The U.S. Department of State reports that only 17 U.S. citizens were killed worldwide as a result of terrorism in 2011. That figure includes deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and all other theaters of war.

In contrast, the American agency which tracks health-related issues – the U.S. Centers for Disease Control – rounds up the most prevalent causes of death in the United States:

Comparing the CDC numbers to terrorism deaths means:

– You are 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

– You are 33,842 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

(Keep in mind when reading this entire piece that we are consistently and substantially understating the risk of other causes of death as compared to terrorism, because we are comparing deaths from various causes within the United States against deaths from terrorism worldwide.)

Wikipedia notes that obesity is a a contributing factor in 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year. That makes obesity 5,882 to times23,528 more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

The annual number of deaths in the U.S. due to avoidable medical errors is as high as 100,000. Indeed, one of the world’s leading medical journals – Lancet – reported in 2011:

A November, 2010, document from the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services reported that, when in hospital, one in seven beneficiaries of Medicare (the government-sponsored health-care programme for those aged 65 years and older) have complications from medical errors, which contribute to about 180 000 deaths of patients per year.

That’s just Medicare beneficiaries, not the entire American public. Scientific American noted in 2009:

Preventable medical mistakes and infections are responsible for about 200,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to an investigation by the Hearst media corporation.

But let’s use the lower – 100,000 – figure. That still means that you are 5,882 times more likely to die from medical error than terrorism.

Read the rest of the article

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