Would a 10 meter/32 feet drop kill and would it render someone unconscious in the first 1 minute?


I have heard of people simply falling over and dying of it. I almost did myself, twice. Serious concussions. Thirty two feet ought to do the job quite thoroughly!

Head first: yes and yes. Well, technically, if it kills instantly, then no, it doesn’t render the victim unconscious. Just dead.

if it didn’t kill you then it would certainly leave a mark.

I remember reading somewhere that a 3 story fall (roughly the same height as the OP) has a 50 percent mortality rate.

It might kill you, it might not. If you live, you may or may not be injured severely, and you may or may not be knocked unconscious. People have died falling off of chairs, and people have lived falling over 20,000 feet. While your chances of injury and death do increase significantly with height, there’s always a certain amount of randomness involved.

Need answer fast?

Here’sa link to a study of worker deaths caused by falls. Seven out of the 91 fatalities were from heights of 10 feet or less. 48 of them were from heights of less than 30 feet. 10 meters can kill, that’s for sure. YMMV.


32 feet is only 3d6. Even a moderately high-level character has a pretty good chance of surviving that.

‘Would’ is a curious term in this scenario. What about ‘might’.

Fall onto what?

I’ve jumped from about that height into water, and was unhurt. I wouldn’t try it with concrete.

I could swear we did this earlier, but the LD50 for falls, according to this is 48 feet.

My father fell off a ladder (feet first) from about 24 feet or so at the age of 52 and that was pretty close to damned near killing him. He certainly wished that he were dead, from all accounts. (I was not around for this.) So, yeah, I have no problem believing a 32 foot drop would kill someone, much less render them unconscious.

Well, it would be fast, wouldn’t it? 16.1 feet the first second, and you’d hit before second number 2 IIRC my high school physics. I’ve done a number of fall cases, and most falls are from less than 10 feet. At those distances, you are on the ground before you know you are falling. You can die, be injured, or walk away unharmed. Depends on what you hit on your body and the surface you run into. Want something really ugly? Try falling on uncapped rebar, which is illegal to have in the US. Sharp as a razor, and there you lie, impaled with several feet above you that they have to cut off to hoist you off of it and get you to the hospital or morgue.

You could ask the inverse question. If you dropped an 80kg block of concrete onto someone from 10 metres above their head, would it kill them? I doubt anyone would suggest that would be survivable. So there is your drop onto your head from 10 metres onto concrete edge case. So, how about we drop an 80kg sack of sand? How about a bale of hay? Or we could swing the object on a rope like a wrecking ball, and have it slam into them from an angle from 10 metres away.

Or, just push them in front of a truck doing 30mph. See how they do.

The big trick with a fall is clearly what adsorbs the energy. If it is your skull, you are dead before your feet hit the ground. If it is your feet you are probably going to survive, but you will be reasonably broken up, depending upon where the loads go. At an angle, feet first, you will distribute the shock along your body. Assume some nasty fractures and soft tissue injuries. You really want to choose ground that will adsorb at least some of the energy. No matter what, it isn’t going to be nice.

Need answer fa…

For some reason, I remember the number being closer to 30 feet when we last did this, but I can’t find the thread.

Meanwhile, I did find this investigation (PDF) of worker falls. If you scroll down, there’s a chart of 91 falling deaths and the height from which they fell. The median height was 28 feet, and there were a high percentage of fatal falls in the 11-25 foot range.

Or you could scroll to post #6. It’s the same information, and less far to fall.

:smack: D’oh!

We had a Doper here who was putzing arond on a 30’ ladder and fell. There was a big thread and commotion about how he dies, but I think it turned out completely differently. I think he actually fell into a laundry basket or something.

I had the misfortune of seeing the immediate aftermath of TWO falls from about that distance, back when I worked as an EMT. One was 32 feet, and the other was 40 feet.

The 32 foot fall was a worker who was laying fiber optic cable in the ceiling above some convention space. He stepped onto the a flimsy ceiling panel and fell right through to the carpeted floor. He suffered a broken thumb.

The 40 foot fall was a worker who was part of a crew dismantling a stage show (the show had moved venues). There were holes in the stage, where machinery could lift things from the basement level to the stage for rapid scene changes during the show. The machinery was gone, leaving the holes bare. The crew placed plywood over the holes so they could still walk around. This worker lifted one end of a very long piece of plywood, and pushed it forward out of the way. Unfortunately this meant he couldn’t see his feet, and literally walked right into the hole, falling 38-40 feet (there was some argument about exactly how far it was, and I wasn’t on the scene long enough to see the resolution) to the bare concrete below. He landed head-first, with his arms outstretched. Both arms had compound fractures about 2-3 inches from the wrist. His jaw was broken, and he likely had numerous internal injuries. He was unconscious for a good 5 minutes, but woke up as he was being loaded into the ambulance.

Neither of the two died, although the stage crewman likely had lifelong complications from the accident. The 30-foot fall guy actually didn’t even want to go to the hospital, and would have walked away from the accident if we hadn’t been able to convince him it was for the best.

“Dude, look… you’re six inches shorter than you were this morning. Let’s get that looked at, mmm-kay?”

Hmm. Will the “10 meter drop kill” be in the next Olympics?