Accidents happen. But we wanted to know: how often do they happen? We crunched the numbers and what we found might surprise you. You know how people say it’s easier to get struck by lightning that to win the lottery? Well, that’s basically true. But it turns out you’re also 860 times more likely to get struck by lightning than to be hit by a bus. So the good news here is that you’re probably not going to be hit by a bus this year.
Our latest video, “Odds & Ends”, breaks down the statistical odds of the unlikely deaths we cheat everyday. It’s a fun and technically sophisticated collaboration with the Seattle-based video production company, Super Frog Saves Tokyo. We told the video team to take the piece in any direction they wanted. Naturally, they set up an elaborate bank of 36 iPhones to create a Matrix-style bullet time effect to capture each possible death in a sort of slow motion staccato. If you’re interested in recreating this effect or you just want to see how it works, check out the “Odds & Ends: Behind the Scenes“.
Risk management can feel like cynical business. We buy home and car insurance because we know that odds are, at some point in our lives, we’ll end up in a collision or suffer home damage that we can’t afford to fix. We take out life insurance policies because we’re 100% certain that we’ll die one day and that the people we love might still need us when we’re gone. And healthcare costs can cause such dramatic financial ruin that its now required by law to maintain insurance.
Most insurance policies cover you and your major assets in a longterm, abstract way. Odds are, you aren’t going to end up dying in a freak accident slipping in your shower and you’ll never be struck by a falling airplane part on your way to or from work. That won’t happen tomorrow, or in a thousand days or any other day before you encounter a hundred more smaller, more mundane crises. The costs of fender benders, high-blood pressure, flooded basements — these are the less interesting events of your life that insurance can shield you from. And stuff like that happens all the time.
Odds and Ends: A Hidden Costs Video Transcript
Good morning. As you rise and shine, it’s important to realize that the day ahead will be full of accidents waiting to happen, and many of these hidden dangers are beyond your control. But by obtaining proper insurance coverage, you can ensure that your loved ones will be taken care of if ― and when ― catastrophe strikes.
For instance, consider that your odds of suffering a serious injury while shaving are 1 in 6,500. A momentary slip with the razor can cost you everything, but so could a slip in the shower ― you’re three times likelier to have a fatal accident in there [2,232 to 1] than while shaving.
If this strikes you as strange, then as you step outside consider your odds… of getting struck by lightning [576,000 to 1]. While improbable, this scenario is still 860 times more likely to occur than you being killed in a bus accident. If it’s death from above that worries you, also consider your odds of being killed by a falling airplane part [10 million to 1], which are 7% more likely than you winning the California lottery.
If you feel safer indoors, remember than you’re more than 400 times more likely to die in a work-related accident than be attacked by a shark [11.5 million to 1]. But going to a party is just as dangerous as a day at the office. For example, you’re more than twice as likely to be killed by a Champagne cork [352,000 to 1] than a poisonous spider bite.
A solid insurance plan won’t prevent disasters, but it will help your family recover if an unforeseen mishap occurs. So rest easy as you settle into bed tonight, because tomorrow is another day.
Check out the Behind the Scenes here.