The likelihood that you will be struck by lightning this year is about one in a million. And over the course of your lifetime, those odds increase to about one in 10,000. However, it seems that men are much more likely to be fatally struck by lightning than women. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that from 2006 to 2012, 82 percent of deaths related to lightning strikes involved men. During those years, 238 people were fatally struck by lightning in the United States. Most of the male fatalities occurred during leisure activities such as fishing, boating, and camping. The women who were killed during lightning strikes were more likely to be carrying out daily-routine activities.
One-in-a-million odds you want to avoid:
- The study found that fishing accounted for more than three times as many fatalities as golfing, perhaps due to golf-related public safety campaigns. There were 26 fishing deaths, 15 camping deaths, 14 boating deaths, 12 soccer deaths, 11 beach deaths, and 11 farming or ranching deaths.
- Riding a bike, walking outside, golfing, attending a social gathering, and doing yard work each accounted for 10 or fewer fatalities. Around 70% of fatalities occurred during June, July, and August.
- NOAA routinely warns that lightning can strike 10 miles (16 km) from the center of a storm. When you hear thunder, you need to head to shelter immediately, especially if you are out in the open and it will take time to get to safety.