How Many People Die in National Parks and How?

On average, approximately 160 visitors per year die while visiting national parks
Staff Writer

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Overall, the risk of being injured or killed while visiting a national park is very low, according to the National Park Service.

“For example, when looking at fatality rates during the 2007-2013 timeframe, the average rate is 0.57 deaths [per] 1 million visits,” said Jeremy Barnum, public affairs officer at National Park Service. Between 2007 and 2013, in all 59 parks, there were 1,025 fatalities. On average, approximately 160 visitors per year die while visiting national parks.

In general, visitors can stay safe if they follow simple rules , Barnum said. For example, always plan and prepare, select the most appropriate activity that matches your skill set and experience, seek information before and when arriving at the park about hazards and environmental conditions, follow the rules and regulations, and use sound judgement while recreating.

The leading causes of unintentional visitor fatalities in national parks, based on data collected by the NPS Public Risk Management Program from 2007 to 2013, are drownings, motor vehicle crashes, and falls. But there are more; all of the following data are from the same seven-year period.

Here are the top 10 causes of death in national parks.

More readings: 

50 Reasons to Love the National Parks

All 59 National Parks Ranked

The Great American Bucket List: 50 Things to Do in the U.S. Before You Die

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