Published: February 2007
Ways to Go
(Originally published in the August 2006 National Geographic)
Text by Siobhan Roth
National Geographic staff

When and how death will arrive can rarely be predicted, but statistics reveal what holds the greatest chance of ending a life. Riding a motorcycle, for example, is far riskier than playing with fireworks, statistically speaking. This chart shows what the lifetime probabilities are of a U.S. resident dying in a relatively common event, such as a pedestrian accident, or a less common but larger scale catastrophe, such as an earthquake. No matter what the cause, one thing is certain: No one gets out of here alive.