Look, we love sharks. Big, beautiful, powerful creatures that have barely changed throughout the history of this planet. But let's face it, they can be pretty scary, too. Those teeth. The sneak attacks. Most of the "Jaws" movies. Yikes. But that hasn't stopped Hollywood from pushing the scary side to the max.
Interestingly enough, though, most sharks are pretty harmless. Well, to humans at least. And unless you're swimming out in the open ocean in a head-to-toe suit of meat, you should be just fine. In fact, there are way more day-to-day things you'll want to worry about before sharks. Don't believe us, have a look at these stats:
Shark Attack Statistics
- On average, there are about 40 shark attacks in the United States each year.
- There is an average of one death per year from sharks in the U.S.
- Florida is the state where most shark attacks occur in this country.
- There are over 500 different types of sharks; only 30 shark breeds have ever been involved in a shark attack.
- The sharks most often involved in attacks are the Great White, Bull, and Tiger sharks.
- There is a 1 in 11.5 million chance of being attacked by a shark.
- The chance of being killed by a shark is less than 1 in 264 million.
So unless you are the 264 millionth person, you will encounter many things on a regular basis that are much more likely to harm you than a shark attack. Let’s talk about a few things that are more of a threat than sharks.
You're more likely to have an accident while driving TO the beach than encountering a shark while swimming once you're there. The number of motor vehicle accidents in the country each year can be over 10 million, with fatalities numbering typically from 30,000 to 40,000 annually.
There are many ways to be safe while driving. Always be focused on the task; don’t drive distracted. You should also make sure your car in is good condition before taking it out on the road. Obey speed limits, and always, always, always wear your seat belt.
People are more likely to die from a bee-related incident than from a shark attack. Bees were responsible for 50 deaths in the United States in the year 2000, due to bee allergies. Wasps and certain types of honey bees are more deadly, as they can sting a person numerous times. Additionally, most of us encounter bees every summer, while only a handful of people have directly encountered a shark.
Bees are hard to avoid, but there are ways to be safe around them. Try not to agitate them by making sudden movements or disturbing their nest. If you are stung, go into a safe enclosure to get away from the bees. Scrape the stinger out using something like a credit card. If you have a serious bee allergy, be sure to always have your allergy medication at the ready, like an Epi-Pen.
If you have a trampoline at your house, you should be aware of the accidental risks and potentially serious injuries. There are about 100,000 trampoline accidents per year involving broken bones, concussions, and dislocations—and at least one fatality annually. Interestingly enough, the risks aren’t necessarily from falling off, especially with the use of nets. Collisions while multiple people are bouncing together cause many of the injuries. One child was killed in 2013 when the trampoline she was bouncing on blew over in a high wind, throwing her 150 feet.
Always practice smart behavior on a trampoline. Don’t try to perform dangerous stunts like backflips. Use a safety net around the trampoline to help keep you from falling off during a wayward jump and always supervise small children when they’re bouncing.
Fireworks are a summertime classic, but they can be dangerous – much more so than shark attacks. Fireworks are the cause of over 10,000 injuries each year, and can sometimes lead to fatalities.
To be safe, only use legally approved fireworks, and always follow the included instructions. Always light the fuse with an appropriate fire source like a lighter, and then retreat to a safe distance. If the fireworks do not ignite, do not get up close to check it. If it still doesn’t ignite after several minutes, douse it with water from as far away as possible.
5. Vending Machines
Believe it or not, you are more likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark. Vending machine accidents kill about two people each year due to user error. You could say that you are twice as likely to be killed in a freak vending machine accident than in a shark attack.
To avoid a vending machine accident, never shake or hit a machine if your snack gets stuck. This is the most common cause of injury. You should also never try to reach your hand inside the vending slot to reach inside.
Texting can be hazardous to your health. People are involved in accidents every day due to being distracted by their cell phones. Over 1 million auto accidents a year are caused by people who are texting and driving. Accidents also occur when people are walking and texting, whether it’s from a fall or trying to cross the street. These accidents are far more common than shark attacks, and they can be deadlier as well.
To avoid having a texting accident, never send text messages while you are distracted by another activity. If you are walking, stop at a safe location to check your phone and send a text message. Resist the urge to check your phone when you are engaged in other activities and you will drastically reduce the chances of having an accident.
Sharks get a bad rap in our society due to their menacing looks and attacks on humans, which are rare but tend to be headline news. It's important to remember that shark attacks are very unlikely; you could swim in the ocean every day for the rest of your life without ever even seeing a shark. Instead of worrying about Jaws, practice safety during everyday activities.