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'Popular Mechanics' on How to Avoid Deadly Accidents

Each year 37,000 men between the ages of 18 to 50 die from an accident. It's the leading cause of death for men in that age bracket. Some instances of these unintentional deaths are unavoidable—wrong place, wrong time—but most aren't. A recent (December 2013) article in Popular Mechanics, titled "How Not to Die," suggests that you can avoid many unnecessary (or stupid) accidents. Here are four examples of how some advance planning can help you or even r even save your life:

  • Every year, three to five people are killed in North America by sharks and bears. Here's how to plan to avoid wild animal attacks: (1) Avoid shark-infested waters. (2) Carry pepper spray when hiking.
  • More than 100 Americans drown every year in rip currents. Rip currents occur when water rushing back from the shoreline is channeled through a narrow gap between sand bars. Here's how to plan for rip currents: Allow the current to carry you beyond the riptide's flow, then swim laterally until you find a spot to swim safely back to shore.
  • In 2012, five skydivers died after a low or hook turn—when a diver attempts a turn too close to the ground and hits the earth like a wrecking ball. Instead, plan ahead by scoping out the landing spot well in advance so you have room to land without needing to swerve.
  • From 1978 to 1995, rocking (often combined with cursing) and eventually tipping vending machines caused 37 deaths. Planning advice? (1) Plan ahead and buy your lunch, soda, or snacks at the store. (2) Don't fight vending machines. They have the weight advantage.

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