Which of These Things is Statistically More Likely to Kill You?

John Miller

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

We are all going to die. The more interesting question is: How will it happen? In America and around the world, death statistics vary by region. Do you know what's more likely to cause your demise?

In America, what disease is most likely to send you to the grave?

Lack of exercise and terrible diet and stress are all factors in heart disease, the number one killer in America. Each year, more than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease.

What's more likely to kill an American?

Driving to the grocery store seems so innocuous, doesn't it? But roughly 50,000 Americans die in car wrecks each year. Buckle up!

In the United States, which creatures are most likely to cause your demise?

There are roughly 30 million deer in the U.S., and they are pretty dumb when it comes to cars. More than 100 people die every year due to deer-related collisions.

Which natural event is more likely to take your life?

It's just water, right? And you can swim. But flooding is often relentless and violent -- and it's common -- which is why you're more likely to die from this event than tsunamis or lightning.

Which lifestyle factor is more likely to kill an American?

Smoking … there's a reason this habit is no longer en vogue, folks -- it kills you. About 470,000 Americans will perish each year due to their smoking habits.

Which disease offs more people in America each year?

Cancer, the "big C," eventually touches the lives of almost everyone. In the U.S. alone, around 600,000 people die from cancers each year.

Which scary event is more likely to cause your demise?

Tornados are spectacularly devastating … but ultimately, pretty rare. Fires are much more common, and your odds of dying in one are about one in 1,100.

Which factor is more likely to cause the signing of your death certificate?

"I've fallen and I can't get up!" Falling sounds innocuous when you're a kid, but the older you get, the harder you fall. It's the leading cause of injuries leading to death in older people.

Which health problem is more likely to kill Americans?

Stroke is the so-called "silent killer," which sneakily causes damage to the brain. Severe strokes may kill people outright, to the tune of around 140,000 per year.

In America, which animal is more likely to kill you?

Dogs are man's best friend, except when they are trying to rip us to shreds. Roughly 30 Americans die each year in dog attacks.

Which of the following is more likely to cause an American to kick the bucket?

Guns are a way of life in America. Guns are also a way of death in America. Tens of thousands of people die each year when they wind up on the wrong side of the barrel.

Which risk factor is more likely to kill an American?

OK, so no blood pressure is probably a bad sign. But it's high blood pressure that decimates the population -- roughly 400,000 Americans die each year from high blood pressure.

Worldwide, which factor caused the most deaths worldwide in 2016?

Non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, caused the most deaths worldwide in 2016. These diseases killed nearly 55 million people.

If you live in a poor country, what's most likely to kill you?

In poor countries, it's harder to get basic health care. That means lower respiratory infections take a toll and rank as the number one killer in impoverished areas.

In America, what's more likely to kill you?

Accidents are a common killer -- they rank fourth in causes of death. That includes everything from car accidents to drug overdoses to choking on meatballs.

True or false: In America, winter is more likely to kill you than summer.

It seems like snow and cold would be bigger killers. But it is actually overheating that claims more victims in the U.S.

Which risk factor causes 20% of all adult American male deaths?

At least rock climbing and driving are fun -- smoking is just gross. And it causes about one-fifth of all American male deaths -- nearly 250,000 men per year.

If you live in a wealthy country, which of the following is most likely to kill you?

Sure, you have money to burn on things like steak and bacon. And those foods will contribute to the heart disease that kills you.

In America, which disease is more likely to send you to the grave?

Due largely to poor diet, diabetes is common in America. It's a contributing factor in nearly 245,000 deaths per year and a primary cause in about 76,000 deaths.

In America, which weather-related phenomenon is most likely to kill you?

Flooding often catches people by surprise, which is why it kills about 80 Americans per year. About 45 Americans are killed by lightning annually.

In the U.S., which weather event is most likely to cause death?

If you get too hot, your body shuts down. Each year, roughly 130 Americans die after they simply get way too hot.

Which of these factors is more common as a killer of Americans?

Obesity is no joke. If you're overweight, you're at risk of early death -- obesity is a major factor in more than 215,000 American deaths each year.

Worldwide, which of the following is deadlier?

Strokes are exceedingly common throughout the world. Each year, strokes cause about 6.7 million deaths. It's the number two killer around the globe.

In America, which of these factors is more likely to kill you?

Suicide rates tend to fluctuate. But at present, it's in the top 10 killers of Americans, more common on death certificates than AIDS or chronic liver disease.

In Africa, which creature is most likely to end your life?

Mosquitoes are vectors for nasty diseases in Africa. They are by far the deadliest creatures on the continent.

In which U.S. state are you most likely to be killed by an animal?

In Montana, where there are few people and a whole lot of large mammals, you have about a 1 in 674,000 chance of being killed by an animal. So, don't smear bacon grease all over your body and walk into the mountains.

Which of these health issues kills more people each year around the world?

Diarrhea isn't just disgusting and exhausting -- it can kill you. Each year, about 1.5 million people die due to complications arising from diarrhea.

Around the world, what's a bigger killer?

COPD is no joke -- it's one of the top five killers in the world. But many people don't have access to the kind of health care that can combat COPD.

If you live in Southeast Asia, what animal is most likely to kill you?

Hate snakes? Don't live in Southeast Asia, where cobras run wild, killing people by the dozens in the street, or something like that. Cobras are the deadliest animals there.

Which product helps to kill the most Americans?

Tobacco smoking is a factor in nearly half a million deaths each year in America. Worse? About 40,000 people die simply from exposure to second-hand smoking.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes