odds of being in a car accident vs being bit by a shark (or in a Plane crash)

Today my co-worker and had a talk in the hall about what Microsoft should *DO* to have more window offices (I saw a window office down that hall that had 4 people in it). I think that we should level like 4 city blocks and build 2 huge sky scrapers shaped like a big M.  Then the issue of safety came into play.  So then we attempted to figure out what the odds of dying in various situations was.  Soon the talk turned to "are you more likely to be in a car accident then being bitten by a shark"?  Well does anyone know the answer?

So things that we need to know (world wide)

  • how many people are in a car every day

  • how many people are in water that can or does hold sharks

    • Do you count shark bits at aquariums (the petting the fish part)?
    • Does it matter if the person that was bitten had been in a car that day?
    • Does the ride to the hospital count?

Other Questions:

  • What if you are a ped that is hit by a car?  Does that count?  Does it count for the driver or passenger(s)?

  • What about motorcycles?

Because neither of us are statisticians we need some help figuring this one out.

While we are at it I would like to know.  What are the odds of being stuck by lightning vs being in a Plane Crash (I don’t care if the people died or not just if it happened)

interesting questions here

  • if a plane is struck by lightning do you could each person in the plane as getting struck?


If you know anything about this kind of stuff please let me know.


After a emails from people let me state that there a few more things here then just knowing how many people have been in care accidents and how many people have been bitten by sharks.  I want to know what percent of people that get in a car get in an accident and what percent of people that get in water where a shark can live get bitten.  If you know where to find these numbers please let me know (it is important :).


Thanks to my reader that have provided me with some great information

Here are the links:

http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds.htm This is a large, US-based list of odds of dying from all manner of things, and gives odds for one year and for an entire lifetime.

http://www.planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm This is a site that lists odds for being in plane, car, and other crashes, based on each single trip. I believe the air crashes are worldwide, but the auto accidents are US-based.