(Submitted by reader Chad Simonds)
This is not a story about something that happened to me, nor a third person account; but I think it’s a worthy topic nonetheless.
I’m a runner who lives in Florida. During the summer months it is just too hot and humid to go running when the sun is out, so I’ve taken to running only during thunderstorms. I understand that the odds of being struck by lightning are very minute, but I’m wondering how those odds are actually calculated.
Does the currently understood odds of being struck by lightning take into account how much time one spends outside during a thunderstorm (which is presumably less time than when it’s not raining)? If I am effectively seeking out thunderstorms, are the odds of being struck by lightning significantly greater, or are the odds still so low that I’m not really in any danger?
[Editor: Although this is a great question for The Odds Must Be Crazy, my immediate thought was about the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the short clips of the roomer in the boarding house who was struck by lightning seven times. The odds turn out to be not so crazy!
Also - evidently being struck by lightning is not to be taken - lightly. It is the second leading weather related cause of death, after floods. According to one source, 400 people are struck by lightning in the US annually, and sixty lose their lives.
Florida is the number one state, leading the deaths by lightning at 126 from 1990-2003. If a thunder storm starts when you are out running - get inside a car or building, stay away from tall conductive objects, or curl up in a ball, making yourself as small a target as possible. - Wendy]