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11 Lawnmower Accident Statistics (2022 Update)

lawn mower on grass

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Lawnmowers are an essential part of life for many. During the height of grass growing season, it is common to mow the lawn on a weekly basis, and while cylinder mowers are generally quite safe, larger, ride-on mowers have the capability to cause serious injury and even death.

Generally speaking, lawnmower deaths are not recoded separately to other accidental deaths or vehicular accidents, so statistics are hard to come by. But, where they are available, they tend to be quite surprising, showing that although you are far more likely to die falling out of bed, you are more likely to die in a lawnmower accident than in a terrorist incident.

Below, we have gathered 11 statistics about lawnmower accidents and their potential impact.

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The 11 Most Shocking Lawnmower Accident Statistics

  1. Lawnmower accidents cause 85,000 injuries a year in the US
  2. There are 65 backover injuries per year, but most ride-on mowers still allow reverse mowing
  3. Lawnmower injuries cost $37,000 per inpatient, on average
  4. More than twice as many people are killed by lawnmowers than lightning
  5. You’re also more likely to be killed by a lawnmower than sharks, alligators, snakes, spiders, cows, and dogs combined.
  6. Men are three times more likely to suffer lawnmower injuries than women
  7. Accidents are most likely to occur on weekdays between April and September
  8. Hands and fingers were the most commonly injured body part
  9. Other types of garden equipment are more likely to cause accidents, but lawnmower injuries more often require hospitalization
  10. Young children are more likely to suffer foot injuries
  11. 1 in 5 lawnmower injuries require amputation
LAWNMOWER_ACCIDENT_STATISTICS
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Lawnmower Accident Basics

1. Lawnmower accidents cause 85,000 injuries a year in the US, including 70 fatalities

(Research Gate)

It was actually Kim Kardashian that brought this statistic to light, tweeting that, in the US, 70 people per year die in lawnmower accidents. This includes all forms of lawnmower, including ride-on as well as mechanical and push mowers. It also includes people of all ages, from children to seniors. What’s more, lawnmower accidents lead to 85,000 injuries every single year. That’s approximately 0.03% of the population that are injured by lawnmowers.

cropped man mowing lawn with lawn mower
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

2. There are 65 backover injuries per year, but most ride-on mowers still allow reverse mowing

(NBC News)

Although it’s only a small fraction of the total injuries, there are concerns over the 65 backover injuries that are caused every single year. A backover injury is one that is caused when the mower is being pulled or driven backwards. The main concern is that 70% of these injuries involve children under the age of 5. These accidents tend to occur when a child walks or runs out into the garden and between the lawnmower and the person operating it, and it causes nearly one death of a young child every year. Although legislation is in place that means push mowers must stop cutting when they are pulled backwards, there was an oversight that meant powered mowers do not have the same requirements. It is necessary for powered mowers to lift their blades when reversing, but manufacturers put an override button on in most cases.


3. Lawnmower injuries cost $37,000 per patient, on average

(Hopkins Medicine)

Lawnmower accidents tend to be serious, because of the involvement of a heavy powered mower and sharp blades. Such accidents are also expensive. One study determined that the average injury costs $37,000 per patient. Costs obviously vary according to type and severity of injury.

cropped person mowing the grass with ride-on mower
Image Credit: PhotoMIX-Company, Pixabay

Accident Chances

4. More than twice as many people are killed by lawnmowers than lightning

(World Economic Forum)

70 deaths a year may not sound many, and it doesn’t garner much attention in the press. However, that’s twice as many people as are killed by lightning each year. There are 31 fatalities per annum caused by lightning. It’s also more than four times as many people are killed by terrorists (14). However, lawnmower accidents only account for approximately 10% of the annual deaths as falling out of bed.


5. You’re also more likely to be killed by a lawnmower than sharks, alligators, snakes, spiders, cows, and dogs combined.

(Lawn Starter)

One study puts the number of lawnmower deaths at 90, but very few people suffer from rasemaphobia, which is the official name for a fear of lawnmowers. In contrast, bears and alligators kill a single person each year, on average, with snakes (6), spiders (11), cows (20), and dogs (28) causing far fewer deaths than mowers. In fact, all of these causes together (67) do not kill as many people per year as lawnmowers (70-90) but people are more likely to suffer with arcotophobia (bears), herpetophobia (reptiles including alligators), ophidiophobia (snakes), arachnophobia (spiders), cynophobia (dogs), and even bovinophobia (cows).

a black push lawn mower on grass
Image Credit: rseigler0, Pixabay

6. Men are three times more likely to suffer lawnmower injuries than women

(Research Gate)

It is an unfortunate fact that being male increases the chances of being injured by a lawnmower by three times.


7. Accidents are most likely to occur on weekdays between April and September

(Hopkins Medicine)

Over a 10 year period, there were an average of 84,994 lawnmower injuries treated in Emergency Departments and men were three times more likely to be injured than women.

a man on a riding mower
Image Credit: Bluesnap, Pixabay

Lawnmower Accident Consequences

8. Hands and fingers were the most commonly injured body part

(Research Gate)

Although the most commonly injured body part depends on the age of the victim, the most injured section of the body part overall was hands and fingers. Such injuries are most likely to be caused by the mower operator attempting to fix a stuck blade or empty a blocked chute and suffering laceration injuries when the blades start turning again.


9. Other types of garden equipment are more likely to cause accidents, but lawnmower injuries more often require hospitalization

(Lawn Starter)

The yard and garden are potentially dangerous places. As well as the lawnmower, other appliances that can cause injury include blowers, trimmers, chainsaws, pruners, and even power washers. While this other equipment was responsible for 73% of all injuries caused by all equipment, 11% of lawnmower injuries require hospital treatment, compared to only 7.3% of injuries caused by other garden equipment.

cropped black and blue lawn mower on grass
Image Credit: Skitterphoto, Pixabay

10. Young children are more likely to suffer foot injuries

(Leading Gear)

Overall, victims of lawnmower accidents are most likely to suffer hand and finger injuries, but young children are more likely to suffer foot injuries. Foot injuries to children are usually suffered as a result of the child running into the yard and in front of or behind the mower while it is in operation. Another common cause of children getting injured by mower is falling from the lap when they are sat on the operator’s knee.


11. 1 in 5 lawnmower injuries require amputation

(Hopkins Medicine)

Nearly 50% of injuries caused by lawnmowers are lacerations with 22.4% being fractures. An alarming 21.5% were amputations.

a cropped man mowing the lawn
Image Credit: Magic K, Pexels

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Frequently Asked Questions About Lawnmower Accidents

Can A Lawnmower Hurt You?

Even the most basic lawnmower has sharp, rotating blades, and these can cause serious injury if they catch a foot, hand, or finger. Ride-on mowers have the added danger of being heavy, powered machines, that can drive into or over operators and others. Although safe and sensible use of a lawnmower can greatly reduce the risks, lawnmowers have the potential to cause serious injury.

What Is The Fear Of Lawn Mowers Called?

The fear of lawnmowers is called rasemaphobia. Like any phobia, it can be caused by past experiences or upbringing and it can lead to serious physiological symptoms like panic attacks.

How Do Lawnmower Accidents Happen?

Most lawnmower accidents seem to occur when people try to remove a blockage from the grass chute or try to free up seized blades, without first ensuring that the mower is turned off and safe. Other possible causes include operators running over their own feet or those of others, and a powered mower carries the same inherent risks as any motorized vehicle, especially those of an ATV.

Can A Lawnmower Cause Carbon Monoxide?

Powered and ride-on mowers typically use a combustion engine as their drive source. Because these engines burn fuel, they produce carbon monoxide. When used properly, outdoors, the carbon monoxide dissipates quickly and is highly unlikely to cause any ill effects to the operator or other people. However, if one is left running in a garage or other confined space, the carbon monoxide can build to dangerous levels that can cause asphyxiation and may even lead to death. Only run a mower outdoors and switch it off when it is not in use to prevent this. And, if you think you or anybody else is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, get medical help as soon as possible.

What Age Is It Safe For A Child To Mow The Lawn?

Children can easily get injured around lawnmowers, and especially if they are left in control of these potentially dangerous machines. Experts advise that children under 6 be left inside while the lawn is being mowed, that children should only operate a push mower when they are 12 or older, and they should wait until they are at least 16 before they allowed to use a ride-on mower.

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Conclusion

Lawnmowers are an essential part of life for many of us and mowing the lawn can be a weekly task. While some of us look forward to the prospect of getting out and mowing, others are more reticent, especially since between 70 and 90 people are killed each year in lawnmower accidents, in the US, with a further 84,000 injuries every year, more than 20% of which are amputations.

Mow safely, keep young children well out of the way, and make sure that you kill the power and ensure that the mower is safe before you attempt to remove any blockages or free trapped blades.


Featured Image Credit: Skitterphoto, Pexels

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