Top 5 Things We All Do That Can Kill Us

Be careful out there.

  • Todd Heisler/New York Times
  • Be careful out there.

Do you feel safe as you go about your day? Well, you shouldn’t. What you might not realize during your daily routine is that all the things that you do without really thinking about them are very possibly the exact things that are going to kill you. Kill you till you’re dead. The New York Times reported on some of the surprising statistics from a study done by “a team of trauma surgeons, emergency physicians and researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center” which found that many of New Yorkers most common assumptions about what keeps them safe are completely wrong. I guess what’s so scary about this is that it’s like you’re never really protected. You can’t feel safe just because you don’t live on the side of a volcano, you know? So, are you supposed to just lock yourself in a room and never come out again? No. Don’t worry. The city of New York is here to warn you about all the possible ways you might die a horrible death. The city of New York wants to take care of you. That’s been Mayor Bloomberg’s mission for the last 12 years after all. He’s just wanted to help us live our lives better, because we don’t know how to do it ourselves. So if you avoid the following things that can potentially lead to your untimely demise, everything will be just fine. Just fine.


  1. Well, this was extremely uninformative. What did I really expect, clicking on a story linked from Digg… What was I even doing on Digg in the first place?

  2. Poor post. Some of these “deadly” associations might be explained by the simple fact that more people are behaving in a certain way; specifically the statistics for pedestrians in crosswalks and cyclists traveling with the flow of traffic. If say 90% (arbitrary number for example) of people use crosswalks and cycle with traffic, then saying that 80% of pedestrians/cyclists hit by traffic were engaged in these behaviors is a weak statement. It’s almost like saying that 100% of people who eat food die. A better comparison would be between each group: what percentage of crosswalk users are hit by vehicles compared to those who do not use crosswalks? It would also be helpful to know the context of the accidents: do crosswalks tend to be in higher traffic areas? Look up “correlation vs causation” for further clarification.

  3. As a general rule, unless there is a super compelling reason not to, you should never walk, ride, roller skate, or skateboard against traffic. Common sense should tell you that. If not, think of this simple example.

    You have a bicyclists traveling at 35 mph, and a car traveling at 35 mph down town. In the first example, they are traveling with each other, and because they are going the same speed, will never pass each other. No collision is possible. If they do pass, passing is done at a speed relative to each other of only a few miles an hour difference.

    Now, take the same two vehicles, traveling against each other, on the same side of the road. Each is going 35 mph, so their cumulative speed to each other is now closing at 70 mph. They are headed right at each other, in the same lane, and only have a few moments to react… Swerve right, swerve left, make the wrong choice or both parties do, like some game of chicken, and you swerve right into each other. Impact at 70 mph. Bike parts and bicyclist all over the highway. Do you think that is safer, that traveling with traffic? Are you insane?

    Next time you are in a moving crowd, try going with the crowd, and then try walking against the crowd, and tell me which produces more collisions per second.

    You should generally never drive a vehicle against traffic, whether that be a bicycle or any other vehicle. If its supposedly so good for biycles, why not motorcycles? Can you imagine if all motorcycles started driving against traffic? Exactly! How about large trucks.

    Driving against traffic is wildly disconcerting for both parties involved. Can you imagine how intimidating it is to be peddling towards a speeding car? Or have a bike coming straight at you? Not to mention because vehicles are closing on each other, rather than going with each other, the time to react is drastically reduced.

    Any statistic that says going with traffic causes more accidents, is simply because more people do it because its the right way to ride, and also because whatever accidents do happen its because bicyclists don’t look behind them before they change lanes. Put some rear view mirrors on your bike for starters. How many bikes do you see with rear view mirrors? They need them.

    Do not believe something as true just because you hear it as some sort of adage. Let your own common sense be your guide.

  4. This is such a poorly written “article” full of horribly illogical conclusions. By the author’s logic, since almost all of AIDS patients have been infected with a cold in their lifetime, colds cause AIDS.

  5. We can learn something from this article.

    1. “Walk” signs are not force fields. When crossing the street PAY ATTENTION.

    You can apply that to all the other parts of this article.

    Please visit for lessons in how to use statistics.

  6. Full of illogical conclusions. Of course 80% of all bike accidents occur when riding with the traffic. That’s because almost all bike riders ride with the traffic. Not many are stupid enough to ride against the traffic.

  7. Cobra Choppergirl…you haver to be an idiot to walk with traffic. Believe it or not the laws exist for a reason and not just because someone felt like saying that pedestrians should walk against traffic. If you get hit by a car while on foot, your speed relative to the cars is not going to matter. Better that you can see traffic coming and react to it.

  8. Author is a nut case. While there are some truths that are counter intuitive, his conclusions are simply counter to conventional thinking, and at the very least trollish. Maybe his point was to challenge us to think, and not just accept because hey, some author said so, in the ever-expanding internet of truths, statistics, propaganda, self-serving agendas, falsehoods, and outright lies. Nice job if he made you a little bit more critical and made you levitate off your couch, you potato!

  9. I stopped reading after this line: “Most pedestrians were struck by cars while they were in a crosswalk last year”.

    Most pedestrians ARE on the crosswalk whenever they are on the road. It’s like saying “most people live in China”. It’s true but it doesn’t really prove anything.

  10. This article doesn’t make any sense, I’m surprised it was published. If 80% of cyclists got struck whilst riding with traffic flow that’s probably because most cyclists ride with traffic flow. To give us some useful information we would need to know how often cyclists ride counter-traffic flow. For example, if of all cyclists riding at any moment 5% do it counter-flow then that would mean that counter-traffic flow riders are over-represented in the ER rooms by a factor of four.

  11. Pretty sure I got dumber just by reading this article. This demonstrates the major problem with statistics: they lend themselves too easily to misinterpretation, especially by ingenues with liberal arts degrees.

  12. This writer is really, really dumb. And an awful writer – this is the pits . The voice makes me want to barf- it’s like an annoying teenager talking into a cell phone. Too stupid to know how dumb she sounds…

    Gotta get those pages views, don’t matter how…

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