Quiz: What's More Likely to Kill You?

Ah, summertime! The days are long, the nights are warm, and thoughts naturally drift toward the lighter side of life. For instance, mortality rates for chronic lower respiratory disease among U.S. males in the 25-44 age bracket. Good times! If you like to cut the summer sun with a little healthy morbidity, take our quiz.
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Question 1 of 13
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  • car
  • train
  • motorcycle
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Doctors call them "donorcycles" for a reason -- ERs tend to get a lot of organ donations from motorcycle accident victims. A recent European Union study, cited in the wake of the Spain trail derailment, concluded that there are around 52 fatalities per billion kilometers traveled by motorcycle. By car? 4.4. By rail? 0.15.
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  • carbon monoxide poisoning
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: In a 2007 study, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning accounted for 147 deaths per year on average. Vehicle fires accounted for 57 deaths, and exploding tires for seven fatalities annually.
  • vehicle fire
  • exploding tire
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  • texting while driving
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: A recent and well-publicized study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attributed 3,331 U.S. fatalities to distracted driving in the year 2011. (That's nine deaths per day.) In the same year, 140 people died from scuba diving, and 25 people died from skydiving.
  • scuba diving
  • skydiving
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  • 1493
  • 1995
  • 2011
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Thanks to improvements in safety helmets, infrastructure and awareness, there were fewer bicycle/motor vehicle fatalities in 2011 (677) than in 1995 (830), despite a greater number of bicycles on the roads. (1493 is the date on a disputed sketch of a proto-bicycle device, supposedly invented by a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci.)
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  • cancer
  • heart disease
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease remains the number one killer in the U.S. and the world, adjusting for all age groups, with cancer, stroke and respiratory diseases running close behind.
  • obesity
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  • male
  • female
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Women have long bettered men in life expectancy totals and the charming statistic known as the annual death rate. For instance, in 2010, the fairer sex had a death rate of 634.3 per 100,000 in the U.S. Men died at a clip of 886.2 per 100,000. But cheer up, fellas -- the gap is closing. In 1935, the male-to-female death ratio was 1.2, rising to 1.7 in 1975–1981, and falling to 1.4 in 2000–2010.
  • other
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  • diabetes
  • lung cancer
  • both
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: According to statistics from the World Health Organization, both diabetes and lung cancers are causing increasing numbers of deaths worldwide. Diabetes caused 1.4 million deaths in 2011, up from 1.0 million deaths in 2000. Lung cancers (along with trachea and bronchus cancers) caused 1.5 million deaths in 2011, up from 1.2 million deaths in 2000.
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  • road traffic injury
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: In 2011, road traffic injuries claimed almost 3,500 lives each day, according to the World Health Organization. That moved the gruesome statistic into ninth place overall, just below diabetes. Buckle up, kids.
  • suicide
  • homicide
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  • infectious disease
  • lifestyle disease
  • noncommunicable disease
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: In recent years, noncommunicable diseases have accounted for around two-thirds of all deaths globally. The four main NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases.
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  • flood
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: This depends greatly on location, of course, as well as how you crunch the numbers. According to the U.S. Natural Weather Service, floods are the most dangerous natural disaster over the last 30 years. From 1983-2012, floods killed 89 people yearly on average. Tornadoes killed 74 on average, and hurricanes killed 47 people.
  • tornado
  • hurricane
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  • heat
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Tornadoes, floods and hurricanes might be dramatic, but they're not as deadly as heat waves. In 2012, 155 people died from heat exposure in the U.S. The ten-year average? 117. By contrast, the 10-year average for cold exposure is 27 fatalities per year.
  • cold
  • humidity
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  • lightning
  • rip currents
  • wind
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Surprisingly, in a National Weather Service study covering a 10-year period from 2003-2012, wind events killed more people (51) than rip currents (46) or lightning strikes (35).
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  • spider bite
  • bee sting
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Hornet, wasp and bee stings account for the vast majority of deaths attributed to venomous animals. That's because a percentage of children and adults are prone to anaphylaxis, a deadly allergic reaction. Anyone interested in really rooting around through the numbers on death and mortality is encouraged to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's WONDER online system (http://wonder.cdc.gov.) That stands for Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research. If you were, well, wondering.
  • snake bite
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