Weather can kill, but is our fear of stormy weather a rational fear?

Consider that in the United States, approximately 40,000 people are killed annually in car crashes, 39,000 people are killed from accidental poisonings and about 25,000 people are killed by falling. Tornadoes, on the other hand, kill an average of around 50 people a year; an occasionally deadly tornado year can result in around 500 deaths. Lightning kills an average of fewer than 50 people a year. Floods result in about 140 deaths per year.

Weather’s two biggest killers are heat waves and cold waves. About 600 people each year die from exposure to cold weather and about 700 people a year die in heat waves. It should be mentioned that most deaths related to extreme temperatures are also combined with other health issues.

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