A coconut palm tree commonly grows to 75 feet tall, and a coconut can weigh four pounds or more. A coconut falling 75 feet would have a velocity of 50 miles per hour on impact and an effective force of as much as 2,000 pounds. Victims of direct hits could suffer fractured skulls, unconciousness and, in extreme cases, could be killed.
There is anecdotal evidence for one such death and research has been done which estimates that over a four-year period five deaths in one hospital's service area (in Papua, New Guinea) were related to coconut palm trees - all climbers falling out of them. The hospital served a population of roughly 130,000 - so 5 deaths in 4 years could be extrapolated to approximately one fatality annualy per 100,000 amongst that portion of the world population living near to coconut palm trees, with the caveat that most would be climbing related rather than falling coconuts. Even the pole-pickers, who hook the coconuts off the tree with hooks on long poles rarely get hit, and lets face it - they are asking for it.....
Worldwide, sharks attack between 50 to 75 people each year, with 8 to 12 of the attacks fatal. Your risk of being killed by a lightning strike is some 30 times greater than the risk of death by shark attack in any year, and more people are actually killed driving to and from the beach than by sharks when they get there.
Overall about 1 in 3 deaths are cardiac related and 1 in 4 cancer related. Accidents not related to health account for less than 1 death in every 20. Having said that - that is across all age groups - amongst the 15 to 25 year olds around half of all deaths are accident related. Also men are about twice as likely to have a death caused by accident as women. Not surprisingly, nearly half of the accidental deaths involve motor-vehicles, whilst more surprisingly less than 1 in 100 involves a weapon, of any sort.
What are your chances of having a vehicle accident - well from birth to 30 years old they are pretty high, a 16 year old has 3x the risk of an 18 year old and 7x the risk of a 25 year old. If you make it to 30 you have done quite well. Especially if you are a bloke who drives.
Especially if you fly too - Per passenger mile an car ride is 10 times more likely to result in fatality than an aircraft journey. Aircraft fatalities occur most frequently during takeoff & landing, especially takeoff. Buses are safer still, per passenger mile a car is 25 times more likely to lead to death than a bus.
So - best advice - be born a woman, don't drive or be driven, except by bus and stay under the duvet 'till 30-ish.
And guys? Just party - then dive under the duvet too.....