Updated 30 August 2011

25 idiotic ways to die

You wouldn't believe the idiotic things people do every day. And it can be fatal.


Sometimes fate has just decided that it is your time to go – such as when a rock or tree falls on your car, or you escape from a bomb attack only to be killed six weeks later in an aeroplane crash.

Some things are obvious. We check the traffic before crossing the road, and are wary about opening the door to a stranger. But there are many things people do without thinking twice - and it could mean the end of them. You only need to read the news every day to see how many people still do some of these 25 silly things.

You're taking a chance if you

  • Eat food from a bulging or rusted can. Read more: Food poisoning.
  • Leave an old fridge lying about, especially if there are small kids in the neighbourhood.
  • Drive when you've been drinking. Read more: Are you over the legal limit?
  • Fetch food or water for strangers without closing the door behind you. Read more: Things that could save your life
  • Have no spare tyre in your car.
  • Go out on a boat that does not have enough life jackets for everyone on board.
  • Decide not to fence the pool in your backyard.
  • Stand up when travelling on the back of a bakkie (in fact you shouldn't be in the back of an open bakkie at all).
  • Hold a toddler on your lap in the passenger seat. Read more: Best buckle up for kids
  • Run electrics under carpets or across doorways.
  • Be oblivious to your surroundings when you get out of your car.
  • Swim when you have been drinking.
  • Use an ATM in a dodgy area, especially at night, especially when you're on your own.
  • Leave your back door open without a security gate.
  • Let small kids play with marbles or give them sweets that could stick in their throats.
  • Employ people off the street without checking references or identification.
  • Are anything less than scrupulous about keeping guns locked in a safe, and unloaded.
  • Have sex with a new partner without using a condom. Read more: Safer Sex
  • Decide that you don't need security measures at home.
  • ‘Save’ money by not having a decent hospital plan. Read more: Choosing a medical scheme
  • Drive with worn tyres and iffy brakes.
  • Stay with a violent partner, because he/she apologises and promises to change. Read more: How to leave an abusive partner
  • Draw large amounts of cash at the bank where you could be observed by others.
  • Leave heaters on when you go to sleep (and it's really bad for your electricity bill too).
  • Pour petrol or paraffin on a fire to get it going.

- (Susan Erasmus, Health24, updated November 2012)


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