Bungee Jumping vs Skydiving 

When it comes to adventure sports, bungee jumping and skydiving are definitely the two most considered activities by travellers and thrill-seekers. However, one of the most critical factors impacting the decision is which of the two is most dangerous.

In this article, I’ll be comparing bungee jumping to skydiving and exploring the fatality rates of both, so you can decide which of these adventure sports you’d like to try as your next adventure,

I’ll also share some examples of great bungee jumping or skydiving activities you can do arounds Australia.

 

Is Bungee Jumping Safe or Dangerous?

When considering bungee jumping for the first time, one of the biggest questions beginners ask is:

“Is bungee jumping dangerous?”

The tricky thing about this is that friends, family and relatives will very quickly chime in with their opinions and recommendations.

Many adamantly stating how crazy you are to even THINK about doing it, and how they know someone, who knows someone, who had a bad experience. Yet, in many cases, they’ve never actually tried it themselves.

Bungee jumping meme: "opinions, opinions, everywhere" when it comes to Bungee Jumping vs Skydiving. In terms of risk.

Unlike those people, I have actually done bungee jumping before, and not just once but 4 times! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed 3 bungee jumps in New Zealand and 1 in South Africa. 

Completing 4 bungee jumps doesn’t mean I’m an expert by any means, but given I’ve come away alive and unharmed, surely my experiences must count for something. 🙂

For those curious to know how it turned out, here’s some footage from my experience bungee jumping in New Zealand:

Despite experiencing it for myself, I can of course, understand why people have a fear of bungee jumping, or at least view bungee jumping as dangerous.

Sure, having your feet tied together by an elastic rope and diving head first towards the ground is not exactly risk-free. But when we look at the statistics, we do see a different story.

Given the state of modern technology and the strictness of protocol these days, the fatalities and injuries attributed to bungee jumping are less than often expected.

In case you’re not convinced, check out the stats that I was able to gather below. They may help to give you a bit more context.

Related:

Is bungee jumping more dangerous than skydiving?

 

The Fatality Statistics of Bungee Jumping:

After hours of research, I realised that the frequency of bungee jumping deaths is actually pretty low. If it’s your first time bungee jumping, you’d be VERY unlucky to have something go wrong during your jump.

According to Best Health Degrees, the estimated death ratio is 1 to 500,000 jumps.

To put that in context…

Here’s how bungee jumping compares to some other popular adventure sports, from most dangerous to least dangerous.

  • Hang Gliding: 1 in 560
  • Driving: 1 in 5,494
  • Canoeing: 1 in 10,000
  • Mountain Hiking: 1 in 15,700
  • Dance Parties: 1 in 100,000   💃🏻 🕺🏻 (I honestly can’t believe this made it to the list) 
  • Bicycling: 1 in 140,845
  • Bungee Jumping: 1 in 500,000

As you can see, the chance of you dying from bungee jumping is minuscule compared to the number of successful jumps that are done every day! – even less risky than dance parties apparently…

You better keep one eye open the next time you hit the dance floor.  🤪

You’re also more likely to have an accident canoeing compared to bungee jumping, which I’m sure many of you have already tried before.

So is bungee jumping safe?

At the end of the day, bungee jumping is an extreme sport so there will always be an element of risk. But as you can see above, it is actually a lot safer than a selection of other adventure sports of the same calibre.

If you’d like to give it a go, there are many locations all over the world where you try it.

Here are some other great bungee jumping activities you can check out:

 

 



 

Now let’s turn our attention to skydiving.

Is Skydiving Dangerous? An image of my sky diving in Torquay.

Is Skydiving Safe or Dangerous?

Similar to bungee jumping, skydiving is another adventure sport that gets a bad rep for being high risk. It too involves plunging head first towards the ground.

And to make things even more frightening…instead of having a rope tied to your ankles, you wear a harness hoping to death that your parachute opens on cue.

And the cherry on top, you jump from 12,000-15,000 feet above the ground rather than from 100-200m.

Pretty awesome, ey!

Look I know, when I frame it like that it sounds bloody terrifying. However, technology has advanced a ton over the last 20-30 years and the instructors you tandem dive with are very experienced at what they do.

You must also keep in mind that most adventure companies, who specialise in skydiving, have very strict safety procedures and protocols that they follow. Their mission is to ensure that you have a very safe and fun experience.

Otherwise, customers would never come back and they’d never make any money.

Image of Matt and I Skydiving in Australia - in the plane

Similar to bungee jumping, I’ve also tried skydiving multiple times myself – and LOVED every second it!! That feeling when you are thrown out of the plane – eep – there’s just nothing like it.  😬

Want to see some footage of me free falling out of a plane looking like a chipmunk? Fabulous! Check out the video below.

Here’s some footage from my experience skydiving in Australia:

Let’s also take a look at some statistics.

 

The Fatality Statistics of Skydiving:

As we did earlier, let’s now compare skydiving to bungee jumping, in terms of fatality statistics.

Using the same source mentioned above, the skydiving is said to have a fatality rate of 1 death per 101,083 jumps.

That’s less than 1 death for every 100,000 jumps!

This means that, again, you would have to be pretty unlucky to die when skydiving.

Let’s now add that into the list of other sports and see where it sits.

  • Hang Gliding: 1 in 560
  • Driving: 1 in 5,494
  • Canoeing: 1 in 10,000
  • Mountain Hiking: 1 in 15,700
  • Dance Parties: 1 in 100,000   💃🏻 🕺🏻
  • Skydiving: 1 in 101,083
  • Bicycling: 1 in 140,845
  • Bungee Jumping: 1 in 500,000
  • Skiing: 1 in 1,4000,000
  • Snowboarding: 1 in 2,200,000

This gives you a clear indication of where the two sit in terms of injury and risk. Skydiving is only a touch more dangerous than attending a dance party – good to know.

Related:

Skydiving in Torquay Australia

For those who are still skeptical, let’s look a bit closer at driving.

Like me, most of you probably drive a car right? Yeah, well have I got some news for you – oh and by the way, it’s not good.

I did some research into car death fatalities and associated statistics.

Did you know?

According to Budget Direct, in 2020 the global average of road fatalities from car accidents is 18.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Here’s a visual graph showing the breakdown of deaths per 100,000 people, within a select number of countries:

Fatality Statistics for Driving vs. Bungee jumping and Skydiving

So based off the above stats, you’re:

  • 18 times more likely to die driving to work compared to skydiving and
  • 91 times more likely to die from driving when compared to bungee jumping

Crikey, I don’t think I’ll ever drive again!

Just kidding.

Smirk Face Meme

BUT if you do have the courage to drive everyday of the week (now knowing the stats), I’d suggest you overcome your fear of bungee jumping or skydiving. Instead, just GO DO IT!

If you’d like to give skydiving a go, there are many locations all over the world where you can try it.

Here are some great examples to check out:

Bungee jumping vs skydiving - An image of me after Skydiving in Australia

In Summary:

What’s More Dangerous – Skydiving or Bungee Jumping?

In conclusion, the fatality statistics associated with bungee jumping vs skydiving reveal that skydiving is in fact more dangerous than bungee jumping with nearly a 5x greater chance of dying:

  • Skydiving = 1 death per 101,083 jumps
  • Bungee Jumping = 1 death per 500,000 jumps

However, as highlighted above, the risks of dying whilst doing either of these adventure sports is extremely low, with less than 1 death per 100,000 successful jumps.

This compares to 18.2 deaths per 100,000 people as a result of a car accident.

I hope that this article has helped to put the risks of these two adventure sports into perspective, and give you the confidence to give these amazing experiences a try.

Try not to let the opinions of others prevent you from ticking something amazing off your bucket list and living your life adventurously.

If you’d like to read more about bungee jumping or skydiving, you can check out some of our other articles below:

Related:

 



 

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Profile Image: Ashleigh - Adventure Travel Pro

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