What are the chances of being killed or injured by a falling branch?

falling tree

Every so often, we hear a story about someone whose car was hit by a falling tree or someone out camping in the woods who had a branch fall on them. These are stories that are few and far between, and that’s because it is rare for a tree branch or tree to fall and hurt someone or damage their property. We are going to look at how common this problem is and what you need to know to avoid being hit by a tree or branch when it falls.

The Average Person Is Rarely in Danger of Being Hurt by a Tree

In public spaces, where trees are not very common, it’s very rare for a tree branch or even a falling tree to hurt someone or kill them. In fact, it is far less common than someone winning the lottery. Let’s compare the two statistics. The UK Health and Safety Executive says that the chance of being hit by a tree branch or tree in public space are about 1 in 20,000,000. Now, that’s in the UK alone, and it considers the course of an entire year for a single person.
Compare that to winning the lottery, which is about 1 in 268,920. This assumes that the person is buying a ticket once a day every day of the year, just as the data for trees would be taking into consideration that the person is probably walking under a tree every day of the year.

In other words, you are about 75 more times likely to win the lottery than to be hurt by a tree in public space.

Now, this is a static for the average person. If you live near a forest, you have trees in your yard or you work in an industry that deals with trees every day, your chances are going to change dramatically.

High-Risk Odds

Those people who work in lumber yards, those who are tree surgeons and those in other tree-related fields have the most tree-related injuries, of course. Loggers, for instance, have a fatality accident rate that’s about 30 times as much as any other industry. That’s an incredible statistic, when you think about it, and it shows just how dangerous trees can be for the people who must work around them all the time.

However, we should also consider people who don’t work with trees as a job but who still spend a lot of time around them. For instance, let’s consider those who prune the trees in their own yards. They are five times as likely so suffer an accident (fatal or not) than a professional doing the same job.

In other words, to avoid an accident around trees, it is best to leave the pruning and other tree work to the professionals.

So yes, there is a high chance that certain people will be injured by trees, but these are generally only people who work with them often or who live near them and try to maintain the trees on their own.