Monday Is for Suicide, But Sunday Is for Murder

By Alex Berezow, PhD — Jun 15, 2017
The Centers for Disease Control calculated that, on an average day, 103 Americans die in car accidents, 121 commit suicide and 49 are homicide fatalities. But that's the average day. As it turns out people die differently on Monday than they do on Saturday.
Credit: Shutterstock

Your risk of death from a car crash, suicide, or homicide is different depending on the day of the week. That's the latest finding from the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC calculated that, on the average day, 103 Americans die in car accidents, 121 from suicide, and 49 from homicide. But that's the average day. As it turns out, people die differently on Monday than they do on Saturday. (See chart.)

On every day of the week except Saturday and Sunday, people were most likely to die from suicide. The highest number of suicides occurred on Monday, which makes intuitive sense, since Mondays suck. The average number of suicides generally decreased every day of the week through Saturday, but ticked up again on Sunday.

Fatalities from car crashes were relatively low during weekdays, but increased on Friday, peaked on Saturday, and remained high on Sunday. In fact, there were more deaths from car crashes than suicides on the weekend. This too, makes sense, as people tend to associate with friends and family on the weekend, perhaps making suicide less likely. On the flip side, the weekend is for partying, which could make a car accident more likely. 

The surprising result was homicide. Sunday -- that's right, the Sabbath Day -- is the day in which Americans are likeliest to be murdered*.

So, if you survive the week, just be sure to not irritate anybody after church.

*Note: Feel free to speculate in the comments section why this might be the case.

Source: "QuickStats: Average Number of Deaths from Motor Vehicle Injuries, Suicide, and Homicide, by Day of the Week — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2015." MMWR 66 (22): 592. Published: 9-June-2017. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6622a5.

Alex Berezow, PhD

Former Vice President of Scientific Communications

Dr. Alex Berezow is a PhD microbiologist, science writer, and public speaker who specializes in the debunking of junk science for the American Council on Science and Health. He is also a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and a featured speaker for The Insight Bureau. Formerly, he was the founding editor of RealClearScience.

Recent articles by this author:
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