- Don't drive drunk and/or ride with a drunk driver. There have been too many of these wrecks to count and I am always shocked when people say they knew the driver was drunk but thought they would make it home OK anyway. More often than not, the drunk driver walks away and the person in the car/the person they hit dies.
- Drowning in lakes or rivers. In our area, rivers are swift and cold and there's lots of stuff under water to get tangled up in. There have also been numerous drownings in the cold lakes in our area. People can't "out swim" hypothermia and when your body gets cold, all of the blood leaves your extremities in order to flow to your vital organs leaving you unable to move, swim, or call for help. Swim only in safe areas...like in a pool.
- Heart attacks are quite common as people age. Seeing a 40 year old die of a heart attack is another story. Your heart will keep working if you exercise and eat right consistently. Having an AED on hand it also useful in this situation.
- Kids driving badly. I had my driver's license the day I turned 16 and thought I was invincible. Now that I have witnessed--again too many to count--accidents that involve teenage drivers, I have changed my mind, both about teenage invincibility and the advisability of 16 year olds driving. Intermediate driver licensing laws is a good start but overall, I don't think kids should drive until they are 18 or older, simply based on scientific evidence of teenage brain development (or the lack thereof).
- Sprinting into a violent or potentially violent situation. It is a common reaction--you see someone stealing your car or see someone getting in a fight and your first response is to jump in and either retrieve your car or help the person in a fight. This can lead to death. Some things aren't worth risking your life for (your car, your property) and other things need a bit of perspective before you act (like does the attacker have a firearm). Consider then react.
- Texting/chatting on the cell phone while driving. One of the most horrific accidents I have seen (not on scene but in a review complete with gory photos of extricating body parts out of a pile of steel that was crushed like an accordion) was the Metrolink commuter train wreck that killed 25 people just because the engineer was texting and not paying attention while he was driving the train. This also happens daily on our roads and freeways. People simply can't read their text messages and update their FaceBook profile when their eyes should be on the road ahead.
- Babies killed at home. Babies are killed with surprising regularity by depressed moms, irresponsible/violent step dads or boyfriends, rolling over on them when they are sleeping with their parents, etc. Parents should be much more concerned about the environment that they live in than the very minuscule possibility of stranger abduction.
- You may be surprised by the suicide statistics in your area. I know that when I tell people that suicide is a leading cause of death in our area they are always surprised. It's one of those things that people don't like to talk about but it doesn't erase the fact that a lot of people are killing themselves. Call 1-800-273 TALK if you or someone you know is suicidal.
- Falls are a problem of the old in general. And, as the population ages, falls are rapidly moving up the scale as a leading cause of death. Sounds boring but if you can keep grandma from falling with some useful prevention measures or keep yourself from falling off the roof when putting up Christmas lights, you will be ahead of the pack, statistically speaking.
- Poisonings are also rather boring--meaning they don't usually make the evening news--but it is another very common way to die. Whether because some genius thought it was a good idea to vent his generator into his home (death by carbon monoxide poisoning) or because someone overdosed on their meds, and everything in between (food poisoning, eating poison mushrooms, experimenting with drugs), a little knowledge and forethought can prevent this tragic way of dying.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
10 Ways I Have Seen People Die (And How You Can Prevent These Things from Happening to You)
There are numerous ways to die. I even had a relative who was killed by a parade float of all things. However, there are quite a few common ways to die which are really unnecessary with just a bit of common sense and/or knowledge.