Each year in the USA, between 2,400 and 4,700 venomous snake bites occur, putting your chances of being bitten by a venomous snake in the USA at about 1 in 100,000.
For comparison purposes:
- You are 10 times more likely to die from a fall than even be bitten, much less die, from a snake bite.
- You are 11 times more likely to die from a traffic accident than even be bitten, much less die, from a snake bite.
- You are 12 times more likely to die from unintentional poisoning than even be bitten, much less die, from a snake bite.
If you are bitten by a venomous snake, there is a very, very LOW chance you will die.
In fact, in the U.S only about 5 people a year die from a snake bite of some kind.
Here are the numbers behind those 5 deaths:
- One of these deaths will be someone who kept exotic venomous snakes in captivity in their homes. A local hospital in Ohio is not likely to have antivenin for a King Cobra.
- One death will be someone who refused or did not seek treatment after they were bitten. These people include religious snake handlers in Appalachia and folks who illegally keep venomous snakes and are afraid they will be arrested, fined, or have their animals confiscated if they seek medical attention.
- At least two deaths will be folks who were drunk and who were "messing around" with the snake.
- One death will be to someone who went out of their way to kill or collect venomous snakes.
Statistically, in any given year, not even one person can be expected to get bitten and die from a snake bite for simply walking or hunting in desert, forest, farm, or field.
The bottom line is that people are incredibly bad at risk assessment.
Folks who are terrified of snakes routinely drink alcohol, smoke, speed, own guns, and buy houses with backyard pools -- actions over which they have complete control, and which result in scores of thousands of deaths a year.
If you are looking to lower risk, look closer to home. Forest, field and farm are pretty safe places. even in rattlesnake, bear, wolf, and lion country!