Who Is Most Likely to Be Struck by Lightning?

Men are most likely to be struck by lightning in the US, with approximately 81% of lightning strike-related fatalities being male, according to US statistics from 2006 through 2013. During this time period, there were an estimated 261 deaths from being struck by lightning. However, only around 10% of lightning strikes actually result in death. Men are thought to have a higher risk factor because of their likelihood of taking part in leisure activities, such as fishing or golfing, that may put them in danger during storms without options for shelter. For instance, recreational activities have been found to be a factor in nearly half of lightning strike incidences.

More about lightning:

  • Lightning can strike as far as 25 miles (40.23 km) away from the storm it accompanies, even when clouds or rain are not present.

  • Contrary to popular myth, lightning can strike the same place twice. For example, the 103 story Empire State Building in New York has been struck over 100 times.

  • Fishing is the leisure activity with the highest rate of lightning strike fatalities, and comprises over 10% of all fatalities.

Discussion Comments


Interesting commentary. I try to stay away from lightning, myself, however, if it brings rain to our area, and if it is especially north of us so as to drain into an important aquifer, it is most welcome.

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