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The 10 Most Preventable Ways to Die

Some of the most preventable ways to die might shock you.

While you’ll never really know when it’s your turn to meet your maker, there are numerous ways to lower your risk of dying before your time. This means avoiding some of the preventable ways of dying way too young.

1. Motorcyclists without Helmets

While riding motorcycles can be a safe activity when taking proper precautions, all it takes is one driving mishap to end a perfectly healthy person’s life. Riding at a slower pace on less-traveled roads (while wearing a helmet) is a way to lower your chance of death by motorcycle. Wearing a helmet on a motorcycle lowers your risk of dying by 37 percent, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

2. Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol-related deaths are more common than you might think. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that in the U.S., 88,000 people die each year from causes related to alcohol, and alcohol is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. So if you’re going to drink, do so in moderation to help avoid dying way too young.

3. Texting

Texting can consume you, and can become addicting—even deadly. Texting is one of the most preventable ways to die. The CDC says texting behind the wheel causes you to take your eyes off the road for a full five seconds, which is long enough to drive the length of a football field (when driving at a pace of 55 miles per hour). So it’s no surprise that distracted driving kills nine people each day in the U.S.

4. Lightning Strikes

While getting struck by lightning is rare, it’s a preventable cause of death and appears to be on the rise. According to the National Weather Service, 39 people died from lightening in the year 2016. So when it’s storming outside, steer clear of being outdoors to lower your risk of death by lightening.

5. Railroad Crossings

When you see a railroad crossing, stop and look both ways no matter what. Don’t rely on warning signals before you stop at crossings. In the year 2016, there were 2,025 collisions at railroad crossings resulting in 265 deaths. So look before you cross railroad tracks, even if you don’t see a signal.

6. Obesity

Different reasons for obesity exist, but many are preventable. Being obese can take years off your life, so maintain a healthy weight to avoid obesity-related health problems like stroke, heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes—which are some of the leading causes of death in the U.S. To help prevent obesity, exercise most days of the week, eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean protein foods, and steer clear of sweets, other added sugars, greasy foods, fried foods, high-fat meats and processed meats.

7. Black Friday Shopping

Believe it or not, black Friday shopping can be dangerous, and numerous injuries (even deaths) have happened as a result of the busiest shopping day of the year. Deaths have occurred on black Friday at Walmart, shopping malls, and other stores by shooters or out -of-control mobs of shoppers fighting for the best deals. If you’re not in the mood to fight crowds (and risk injury or death) on black Friday, choose cyber Monday online shopping instead.

8. Extreme Sports

Extreme sports can give you a rush like never before, but also drastically boost your chance of death. According to Business Insider, here are your risks of dying from extreme sporting activities: bungee jumping is 1 in 500,000, skydiving is 1 in 101,083, scuba diving is 1 in 34,400, boxing is 1 in 2,200, hang gliding is 1 in 560, and base jumping is a 1 in 60 chance of plummeting to your death.

9. Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a highly preventable cause of death. The CDC reports that over 618 people die each year in the U.S. from extreme heat. So drink plenty of water in the heat and seek cooler temps (or emergency medical attention) if you’re experiencing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke—such as fainting, dizziness, feeling nauseous, headache, vomiting, weakness, a body temperature of 103 or higher, red skin, confusion, muscle cramps or a weak pulse.

10. Drug Addictions

Use caution (or better yet avoid) taking drugs or addictive substances if you don’t have to, as doing so can lead to addictions and death. Dying from drugs might be more common than you think, and many times such deaths are highly preventable. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says one in four deaths happen as a result of prescription drug use, illicit drug use, tobacco or alcohol—and that drug-related deaths have more than doubled since the year 2000.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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