Silicon Valley residents know that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is a popular suicide spot – some even claim that it's the number one suicide spot in the world. Enough so that for years now there have been suicide hotline call boxes installed on the bridge.
The bridge's 240 feet (72 metres) height will ensure that few people survive the actual fall. And even if you do so, there are very strong currents that will cause any suicide victim to drown.
The San Francisco Chronicle took the effort to analyse the suicide statistics. Jumpers hit the water at speed of 75 mph (120 kmh). Those who don't die from the impact usually drown in their own blood. Two per cent of the jumpers survice. The jumpers are men (75 per cent) and come from the area (87 per cent).
As this chart shows, the city side of the bridge is far more popular than the ocean side. Also jumpers prefer to get off right in the middle of the bridge, although many don't make it that far and decide to jump off at the first section.
It's both sad and fascinating. In choosing to die, these people pick their spot with geometric precision.
Luckily it might soon all be over. The bridge's board is considering putting up a barrier that would prevent jumpers from climbing down.
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