How the danger of coronavirus compares to the risks of everyday life

Department for Transport figures show that, for every billion miles cycled, there are 1,139 serious injuries and 29 deaths. That compares with just 27 serious injuries and two deaths per billion miles for car drivers.

Walking is also encouraged under the new Government plans, yet pedestrians are at even greater risk than cyclists or drivers, with 34 killed each year for every billion miles walked and 461 seriously injured. However, with fewer cars on the roads the rate of cycling and pedestrian deaths is likely to drop.

Motorcycle riders are at the greatest risk, with 126 deaths and 2,038 serious injuries per billion miles travelled.

Some 147 people are killed at work each year, while 581,000 people suffer an injury.

Professor Alan Penn, the chief scientific adviser at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said risks would inevitably go up once lockdown was released.

“There is a hierarchy of risks, and we decide which measures can be taken and give advice about how they need to consider the risk,” he told MPs. “The risks will increase. One reason we are able to do opening up is because the total numbers infected are dropping, so the risk from that perspective is reducing.”

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The chance of becoming a victim of crime in a single year is now 15 per cent, but that changes dramatically depending on age. While around one in five of those aged 16 to 24 can expect to experience a crime annually, that drops to just one in 20 for the over-75s. 

The type of crime also varies. The chance of being robbed is around 0.3 per cent in 100, while 0.9 per cent of people are a victim of violence without injury, 0.5 per cent a victim of assault with minor injury, and 0.4 per cent a victim of wounding.

Likewise, the average adult in England and Wales has a one in 100,000 chance of being murdered in a given year, while domestic abuse among the wider population is around 7.9 per cent of women and 4.2 per cent of men.

Over the last decade, the annual chance of being murdered in a terrorist attack on British soil was about one in 11.4 million per year. 


Around 600,000 people die in Britain every year, with the frail and elderly most at risk, just as they are from coronavirus.

The most recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that more than one in eight people will die of dementia and Alzhiemer’s disease, which is now the leading cause of death. 

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