Injuries are a leading cause of death in the world. And it’s you, men, who are far more likely to die as a result of an accident, than women. Men are also prone to violence leading to early death or disability. The statistics don’t stop there. Evidence from several countries around the world shows that compared to a woman, a man is two to five times more likely to be admitted in hospital as a result of an injury.
Accordingly, men are significantly more likely to sustain bone fractures due to cycling and sporting accidents; three to four times more likely to suffer spinal cord injuries leading to greater levels of disability and several times more likely to be injured by machinery.
You don’t have to go far to find the reason why men are likely to participate in risky behaviour – the attitude that men are ‘hardwired’ to be reckless or foolish as part of being male! In other words, you are biologically predisposed to behave recklessly and to risk death. Your willingness to take unnecessary risks cuts your life expectancy by nearly five years shorter than that of women. A more ignored fact is the powerful influence of social pressure and gender expectation when it comes to being male.
Be a man, is a pointed phrase, often offered as a rebuke, which means the same thing worldwide – Be strong. Don’t back down. Show some courage. Thus, for many men, backing down from a challenge is a major problem and this makes them more prone to engage in risky behaviour that sometimes leads to injury or death.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go by the flow; it is possible to avoid these fatalities and casualties. Let’s start with motor vehicle accidents that claim many men’s lives. All it takes is the use of common sense. First, speed kills as most safety road signs hasten to warn. It makes sense to observe speed limits. Second, if you wear your safety belt then observe the speed limit, you’re over the main hurdle of safety.
It may appear over-used but the caution not to drive under the influence of alcohol or any other substances is cardinal to your safety. You could be a long distance truck driver who spends hours on the road or any other driver. You have no excuse of driving when you’re feeling sleepy. Pull up at the next petrol station and nap in your truck or car before resuming driving. It takes only a fraction of a minute or seconds during a sleepy moment to find yourself in a ditch. Worse still, you might not have time to see your final moments on earth.
Flouting traffic rules is a risk not worth taking. You may not make it to your destination. You also need to have your vehicle checked regularly to ensure it’s in good condition at all times.
When you’re using a machine, appliance, equipment or a gadget that has the potential to cause accidental injury, practice common sense safety precautions. It pays not to venture into the swimming pool or in an unfamiliar body of water alone. You might just find you need help to avoid drowning when you least expect. Make a point of using safety ladders and wear closed-toe shoes when mowing the lawn.
To avoid accidental injuries, make sure your home has fire extinguishers. Those fuel-burning appliances like gas cookers and kerosene stoves should be inspected annually.
If you’re on medication, make sure you understand clearly how your prescription should be taken as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. It pays to read the label carefully to make sure it doesn’t differ from the verbal instructions your doctor or pharmacist gave you. Also, if you use chemical cleaning products, make sure to keep the working surface well ventilated.
THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN…
It has been proven that men participate in activities that involve greater physical risks in the presence of an attractive member of the opposite sex. There’s a very real scientific reason for the behaviour. According to a recent study in Australia, the change is triggered by a quick burst of testosterone that causes men to take more chances and throw caution to the wind. This is all part of man’s inherent inner self. He wants to display physical risk-taking as a competitive strategy to outdo other men and win the beautiful woman. It’s an open display of health and vigour that signals strength, fitness, and daring intended to intimidate rivals.
However, this risk-taking can have negative consequences. According to the study, other cases of physical risk-taking that contribute to men’s early mortality, such as dangerous driving and physical aggression, could also be influenced by increase in testosterone brought about by the presence of attractive women.
Well, do you need to pay such a high price to win a fine woman! Be the judge.