| S E V E R E |
Driving off the road: 254,419
Accidental poisoning: 140,327
| H I G H |
Dying from work: 59,730
Walking down the street: 52,000.
Accidentally drowning: 38,302
| E L E V A T E D |
Killed by the flu: 19,415
Dying from a hernia: 16,742
| G U A R D E D |
Accidental firing of a gun: 8,536
| L O W |
Being shot by law enforcement: 3,949
Carbon monoxide in products: 1,554
And yet we've allowed our nation to be hijacked by Republicans and our money squandered, siphoned into the pockets of defense and oil industry shareholders.
Ryan Singel at Wired reports:
Sept. 11, 2001 was undoubtedly one of the darkest and deadliest days in United States history. Al-Qaida's attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center killed 2,976 people, and the country recoiled in horror as we witnessed the death of thousands of Americans when the towers fell.
In the five years since that shattering day, the government has spent billions on anti-terrorism projects, instituted a color-coded alert system that has never been green, banned fingernail clippers and water bottles from airplanes, launched a pre-emptive war on false pretenses, and advised citizens to stock up on duct tape and plastic sheeting.
But despite the never-ending litany of warnings and endless stories of half-baked plots foiled, how likely are you, statistically speaking, to die from a terrorist attack?
Comparing official mortality data with the number of Americans who have been killed inside the United States by terrorism since the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma reveals that scores of threats are far more likely to kill an American than any terrorist -- at least, statistically speaking.
In fact, your appendix is more likely to kill you than al-Qaida is.
With that in mind, here's a handy ranking of the various dangers confronting America, based on the number of mortalities in each category throughout the 11-year period spanning 1995 through 2005 (extrapolated from best available data).
Sources: National Highway and Safety Agency (.pdf), National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 50, No. 15 (09/16/2002) (.pdf), US Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Insurance Information Institute.
These numbers are on the low side, according to the CDC.
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