Skip to content
Log In | Sign Up Connect

What’s your story?

Share and find customer experiences

Connect with the people behind them

Wacktrap is
feedback made social

Post Your Wack Now

Trending Content


Lightning May Not Strike Twice But Fatal Bolts Hit Men 5 Times More Often

| Share

by copythat

copythat's picture
In The News

The odds of getting struck by lightning may not be that high -- but if it happens, count on it being men. In lightning strikes, 5 times more often it's males who are more likely to be fatally struck by a bolt. Call it lack of common sense or stupid bravado. Or call it golf.
Not everyone who gets struck by lightning dies. Only one-tenth of people struck by lightning actually die. But of the 648 people killed by lightning in the United States -- between 1995 and 2008 -- 82 percent of those fatal strikes involved men. Basically guys are almost five times more likely to get hit and killed by lightning than women. And this is one area that doesn't have to do with biology: There's no biological cause for males being struck by those bolts. Guys and their concerned mates can chalk it up to a lack of exercise in common sense and some thrown-in bravado.
As it turns out, men are just kind of stupid when it comes to braving the elements -- including the ones that can be avoided.
Accuweather's new study includes lightning safety expert with the National Weather Service John Jensenius, who says: “Men take more risks in lightning storms" and that guys are simply less willing to give up what they’re doing just because of a little inclement weather. In other words, guys insist on playtime -- even when it's better to bypass those sports activities at certain times of the year, or simply for the day. Top lightning killers include the more-vulnerable activities like fishing, camping and especially golfing. In half of all lightning deaths, recreational or sports-related activities are to blame.
A behavioral psychologist at Indiana University, Peter Todd, blames the concept of "risk-versus-reward" -- which women are far more likely to give up than guys. Todd says women are more interested in protecting their reproductive role and caring for those babes. Females aren't so interested in the idea of attracting potential suitors through bold or reckless behavior. Guys, on the other hand, Todd suggests, are more willing to put personal safety on the line -- all in the name of gaining that "reward" of proving to other men how big and bad they can be. When it comes to attracting potential female mates, especially young guys are less likely to be afraid of getting struck by lightning in the pursuit of impressing both other guys and women.
Apparently it's all about upping that status factor through proving how attractive and daring a guy can be. Or stupid.
The problem is, when guys insist on that round of golf during bad weather, any need to attract women is on par with the odds of attracting a lightning bolt. A simple golf club can act as a conductor for bolts, as can an umbrella. With humans comprised of 65% water, one human plus a large piece of metal, plus a lightning bolt of electricity equals one potentially bad combination.
Five percent of lightning-related deaths occur on a golf course -- with golf being the only sport that actually has regulations related to lightning. The National Lightning Safety Institute warns: "If you can see it (lightning), flee it; if you can hear it (thunder), clear it." Being close to any body of water on a golf course can up the chances of being hit, as can being near a tree -- since lightning tends to strike the highest point. But experts warn that a piece of metal in hand holds even more danger -- recommending to immediately drop any and all golf clubs and discard or remove yourself from any metal objects including golf shoes with spikes, golf carts and golf clubs.
Another good rule of thumb may be to simply skip the games altogether.

| Share
Average: 5 (1 vote)