I would say, off the cuff, that I probably hear news about a shark attack about once per year. I have no objective measure of how often I hear such news but that's my guess. Note that I live in a surfer-rich region so such news is certainly emphasized in my area.
Given this, I was not surprised when I came across a list of the number of accidental deaths in the USA, ranked by cause, and saw that shark attacks cause an average of about one death per year.
I was surprised, however, by many other items on the list. Here it is:
Deaths per Year
44,757 - Car Accidents
19,456 - Accidental Poisoning
3,306 - Drowning
742 - Bike Accidents
273 - Sun Stroke
130 - Collisions with Deer
47 - Lightening Strikes
31 - Dog Attacks
24 - Train Crashes
11 - Fireworks
1 - Shark Attacks
So let's see....
For Car accidents: that's about one person every 5 minutes. Doesn't surprise me that it leads the list but I might have guessed the actual number to be even higher.
Poisoning: you kidding me? More than 50 people a day? Does this include drug overdoses? What are people ingesting out there?
Sun Stroke: what exactly is that? Maybe these people actually drank poison and merely happened to be in the sun when they died.
Lightening Strikes: this really happens nearly once per week? I know about the urban legends and, as a former golfer I was aware of the general danger, but has anyone ever known anyone who knew anyone whose actual cause of death was lightening? Doubtful...
Fireworks: only 11? I would have guessed a few hundred on 4th of July, a few hundred more on Cinco de Mayo, a couple a day in West Virginia all year long, and a smattering of others around the new year and Bubba's birthday.
By the way, that shark photo above is a fake.