So much for the fear of conquering the big bad city, a new study shows
that cities may actually be safer.
A main finding of the study was that despite public perception to the contrary,
generally rural areas – not urban – bear a disproportionate
amount of the injury-related mortality risk in the United States.
The study published recently in the
Annals of Emergency Medicine, which analyzed nearly 1.3 million injury deaths from 1999 -2006 across
all 3,141 United States counties, found that
motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of injury death, and the number of these crashes
increased in rural areas. However, it also showed that the homicide death
rate decreased as counties became more rural.
“Homicide rates are higher in cities, and people think of those more
emotional and sensationalized dangers, but the risk of motor vehicle accidents
and machinery accidents is much higher in rural areas,” Sage Myers,
MD, MSCE [Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology], an author of the
study, told the
Los Angeles Times.
Statistics showed that the risk of serious injury resulting in death was
approximately 20 percent lower in urban areas than in most rural areas.
Although findings showed homicide risk was greater in the city than in
the country, the
“magnitude of homicide-related deaths, even in urban areas, is outweighed
by the magnitude of unintentional injury deaths, particularly those resulting
from motor vehicles.”
The study found that the risk of the motor vehicle crash death in the most
rural areas is two times that in the most urban areas and factors likely
to contribute to that heightened risk included:
- Speed of travel
- Increased risk taking
- Adherence to traffic laws
- Distance to medical care
Overall, the study concluded that a greater emphasis on the elevated safety
risks outside of large US cities is needed along with a new perception
of urban living as a relatively safe experience.
Whether you live in an urban or a rural area, aggressive or careless driving
is a public safety concern. If you have been injured in an accident due
to another driver’s negligence, an experienced personal injury firm
can help you to pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries. Please
contact us if you would like a free case evaluation.