Friday, January 16, 2009

OPINION: What's More Likely To Kill You, A Shark Or A Deer?

Are you more afraid of being killed by a shark or a deer? The answer may surprise you.

There are lots of deer-vehicle collisions every year. Here is some data on fatalities in the United States.

A new study reports that fatalities from vehicle crashes with deer and other animals have more than doubled in the last 15 years. The study cites the overlapping of urban sprawl into deer habitat as a primary reason.

The report by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that 223 people died in animal-vehicle crashes last year, up from 150 in 2000 and 101 in 1993.

Source: Waterfowl and Retriever

There are also about 10 deaths per year in the U.K. due to deer-vehicle collisions, and I do not have data for Canada, Western Europe, or New Zealand. How does this compare to death by shark?

According to the latest figures by the International Shark Attack File, there was only one fatal shark attack in 2007. It took place in New Caledonia in the South Pacific. The mean number of deaths between 2000 and 2007 was 5 a year.

In 2007, there were 50 shark attacks in U.S. waters, compared with 13 in Australia in the same year -- none were fatal.

The big difference between Florida and Australia is that the later has much bigger sharks and therefore more fatal attacks. From 1990 to 2007, Australia had 19 fatal attacks, Florida 4.

But there have only been a total of 56 fatal shark attacks in Australia in the past 50 years, or an average of about 1 a year, says the Australian Shark Attack File.

Source: Reuters

You are at least 46 times more likely to be killed by a deer than you are by a shark.

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