Accident Prone People

I have to resist sleep till 4:00 in the morning and it is still a little more than 2 hours left. So I fire up my feed reader and I find an article that is shocking! Especially because the timing of the appearance of the article is just apt, according to what happened to me this morning.

Strikingly, it appears that there is a discrete group of people who suffer the most accidents: 1 in 29 people have a 50 per cent higher chance of having an accident than the rest of the population (Accident Analysis and Prevention, DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2006.09.012).

Visser says the study doesn’t reveal which people in particular are most at risk, but it does show that a band of hapless people exists. Previous research suggests that children and people who work on oil rigs or as combat pilots, for instance, tend to have more accidents.

That was from this recent article in NewScientist.com.

So this made me wonder if I belong to that band of hapless people who are prone to accidents. To settle this question, I did a little analysis. First a few facts and then a bit of statistics and the analysis.

  • This is what I was told about the scar at the top right hand side of my forehead: I was four. I was on my way to the school, particularly cheerful that day. I was walking ahead waving at my folks standing behind looking at me on my way to board the school bus. Something stopped my journey in between and I never reached the bus that day. A broken vase penetrated my forehead as I was left in blood flat on the ground. I got 6 stitches. The scar left there is always to be there as it went in the official records as my identification mark.

  • I was seven. I somehow managed to put a spoon through my left cheek. That scar is almost invisible now.

  • At nine I had an unfortunate confrontation with death. I came out clean with some injuries that healed soon after, but whatever else remained is not healed yet. I’d like to keep the details only to me.

  • I was ten. In the process of trying to save a fellow from an accident, I ended up having a bus finding its way on my left arm. The poor little arm fractured at 13-16 places, exactly how many I do not remember now. The arm is fine now, except the occasional pain, and I can even bowl (in cricket) with it.

  • I was twelve. I was carrying an electric voltage stabilizer that we use for ACs in India, and I let it slide. It fell on my right foot. So there is a scar of 4 stitches gracing my foot just where the thumb connects to the foot.

  • I was fifteen. I dared playing hockey without shin-pads. A blow of an opposite team player chose to hit me, instead of the ball, 5-6 inches below the right knee. Everything surrounding the point of impact, within the radius of about 1 inch, became pulp. My friends in my school hostel enjoyed pressing it for a long time.

  • I was a few months older than fifteen. I was batting (cricket) at 7:00 in the evening without proper gear. The bowler bowled, I took a front-foot stance to defend the ball and suddenly the ball rose more than what I, or anybody else for that matter, expected hitting me right on my chin. As a result, there is still a hard thing at that place.

  • I was twenty-one, watching a live cricket match in a stadium. The ball came flying from nowhere and hit me smack on my right eye. That eye suffered a permanent damage. I can use the eye, but the eyesight worsened and it is +2.75 right now, irreparable, according to doctors.

Those were the accidents that left some parts of my body never to be what those should be. Accidents are very common to me. It happens quite often that I am walking and some pillar, wall or some door comes in my way to hit me. I was walking on one leg for 10 days a few weeks ago. This morning I was at a canteen in the campus thinking whatever, waving my hands vigorously as if I just arrived at some grand unification result. (I did not!) My hand hit a cup of boiling tea and the tea spilled over my body. Awesome!

So here I am with eight major mishaps and many-many more minor ones. I’m 27 years old. On an average, I encounter a major accident in 40 odd months, i.e., once in every (a little more than) 3 years. But if I plot the occurrences of the events against time, and observe the pattern, I find it relieving that the frequency will decrease as I get older. Do I suffer more accidents than most people? You decide.

Is it not a statistical proof that I’ll live longer than you, yes, YOU, whoever is reading this post? That is sad according to me! Sorry, I can’t come up with a concrete theory, for whatever happens in life has a very little or no control in my hands.

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