Someone posted a shower thought on Reddit and it got me wondering: https://www.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/comments/9ggbpc/with_17_deaths_in_a_population_of_more_than_525/

I did a bit of research and found that traffic accidents, regular accidents, and suicides are among the top 5 causes of death in the U.S., which are all likely reduced during this time in NC and SC.

This is not intended to be an insensitive post, just a curious thought. Of course this statement doesn't take into account the homes lost, quality of life impacted, etc. Additionally, the victim count will likely rise significantly once the waters recede. It's hard to tell how many people have lost their lives in their homes from drowning or medical conditions.

EDIT: Hurricane Florence has affected more than 10 million, not only 5.25 million.

The person claims that deaths due to car and traffic accidents (which are one of the leading causes of death in the US) are likely reduced during this time due to people staying indoors because of the hurricane. Also that there were less than 20 deaths caused directly by the hurricane.

However, it stands to reason that beside the deaths directly caused by the hurricane, there will be an increased number of suicides and stress-related deaths in the near future?

Does this speculation make sense? Is it possible that the hurricane reduced the average number of deaths per day for a short period of time in the affected areas?

  • 2
    From comments: 33,000 people die annually in the US from car accidents. That comes out to about 90 deaths/day. That's 90 deaths per 330 million Americans per day. For a population of 5.25 million, that comes out to 1.4 deaths per day. 1.4 deaths x 3 days = ~4 people killed. Given that car accident deaths happen more in populated areas like NY, CA, TX, etc. the number of deaths by auto accidents in the region where the hurricane is hitting is even less. Sorry, it doesn't add up – Common Guy Sep 17 '18 at 14:14
  • 3
    Hello and welcome to Skeptics SE. The Q&A section Skeptics SE exists to examine notable claims, and it is doubtful a speculation on Reddit qualifies. However, this seems like a great subject for the chat. Pop on in and post the question there. :-) – MichaelK Sep 17 '18 at 14:58
  • 1
    @MichaelK voted to close for the reasons MichaelK noted, but even a moments thought should be enough to realize that a lower vehicular death count in a storm area should increase the death count in nearby evacuation areas. – user23048 Sep 17 '18 at 15:26
  • 4
    Welcome to Skeptics! This is just someone speculating out aloud in a forum for speculating out aloud. It isn't a notable claim that many people believe. – Oddthinking Sep 17 '18 at 15:31
  • 2
    @PoloHoleSet If I understand correctly, if the roads are jam packed full of cars, they all move very slowly, and thus accidents are less? At least that's what's being discussed in the thread – undo Sep 17 '18 at 20:43