STATCAST - Week of July 1, 2019

Summer Vital Statistics

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The 4th of July holiday in many ways represents the prime time of summer, where picnicking, vacationing and other outdoor activities are happening all over the country. However, it is also a time of heightened risk. NCHS data shows that in the month of July there is a spike in deaths tied to many of these summer activities. In looking exclusively at the month of July, from 1999 to 2017, vital statistics show that:

  • There were 65 deaths related to fireworks, plus 80 deaths from skating, skiing, or skateboarding, and 151 deaths from injuries suffered after diving or jumping in water.
  • In addition, over this nearly two-decade period in July, 228 Americans died after being struck by lightning, and 279 people died after being stung by hornets, wasps or bees. Again, these are deaths occurring only in the month of July for the period 1999-2017.
  • Other activities pose even greater risk. There were 1,617 fatalities from watercraft or boating accidents in July alone over this 19 year period.
  • And just being outdoors in high temperatures pose a threat. 2,917 Americans died from heat exposure during the month of July over this period, an average of over 153 deaths each July.
  • From 1999 to 2017, there were 8,178 people in the U.S. who drowned either in swimming pools or natural water, an average of over 430 deaths in July annually.
  • Finally, there are more travelers out on the road in the summer months, and the data show that 68,410 Americans died in motor vehicle accidents in July alone from 1999 to 2017 — an average of about 3,600 deaths each year in July alone.


Page last reviewed: June 28, 2019