“When it’s your time, it’s your time.” NOT. Most accidents, including freak, are avoidable. Here are more preventable deaths, courtesy of popularmechanics.com.
Commotio cordis. An object (baseball, hockey or lacrosse puck) slams into the athlete’s heart between beats and causes the heart to quiver from ventricular fibrillation. Solution: Dodge the ball. Fatality rates have dropped with the presence of defibrillator devices.
EAH. About 30 percent of endurance athletes (runners etc) who keel over during events die from exercise-associated hyponatremia: too much water intake during the activity, which swells up the brain. During intense activity, limit water to 1.5 quarts per hour. Take plenty of salt with it.
Hypothermia. Only 30-50 degrees can be fatal. Avoid wearing cotton, which traps moisture and exacerbates hypothermic conditions. Wear wool or synthetic clothes. Stuff dry leaves into your clothes to conserve heat.
Killer heat. Heat stroke kills about 675 U.S. people every year. Be prepared with plenty of fluids, and conduct your activity in the morning. Never trek in the dessert without someone knowing your whereabouts.
Cutting trees. The victim saws into a leaning tree, which causes it to topple over, crushing him.
Hunting accidents. No, not from getting shot; from careless climbing of tree stands (wooden boards nailed to the trunk, which can also give way). Climb only when tethered via harness to the tree.
Cliffing out. You’re climbing up a cliff and at some point realize the only way out is to climb to the top, not back down. Never scramble up a cliff you don’t know the length of. Always have with you a device that can send a distress call from anywhere.
Carbon monoxide. After natural disasters, people may use a portable generator to replace the lost power. When these machines run overnight, they may leak carbon monoxide gas. The generator should be kept at least 20 feet from the house.
Glissading. Glissading is sliding down an icy hill, usually on your butt. The slide can get out of control and take you over the edge of a cliff. Avoid this activity, or, if you can’t resist, know exactly where the descent leads to, and have with you an ice axe to self-arrest (which you should be skilled in).
Don’t panic. Ocean rip currents may be invisible. If you’re caught in one, let it carry you beyond its flow so you can then swim alongside it. You’ll eventually reach a point where you can turn back and safely head towards shore.