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For pity's sake: DON'T MOVE to the COUNTRY if you want to live

People don't kill people, guns and cars and drugs do, says top doc

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People often think that the big city is a dangerous place: they worry that they might get murdered, for instance. Being killed on purpose is more likely in town, according to new research, but it is so rare compared to dying in an accident of some type that in fact you would be much more likely to die unexpectedly in the countryside - in America, anyway.

“Cars, guns and drugs are the unholy trinity causing the majority of injury deaths in the US,” says top brainbox Dr Sage Myers of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Although the risk of homicide is higher in big cities, the risk of unintentional injury death is 40 percent higher in the most rural areas than in the most urban. And overall, the rate of unintentional injury dwarfs the risk of homicide, with the rate of unintentional injury more than 15 times that of homicide among the entire population."

According to the results of a massive study directed by Myers:

The most common causes of injury death were motor vehicle crashes, leading to 27.61 deaths per 100,000 people in most rural areas and 10.58 per 100,000 in most urban areas. Though the risk of firearm-related death showed no difference across the rural-urban spectrum in the entire population as a whole, when age subgroups were studied, firearm-related deaths were found to be significantly higher in rural areas for children and people 45 years and older; however, for people age 20 to 44, the risk of firearm-related death was significantly lower in rural areas.

Or in other words the mean streets are not so mean when it comes to the risk of being run over or wrapping your motor around a tree or telegraph pole, or not mean compared to the open road of the country anyway. And in fact you're just as likely to get shot in the countryside too, though this is more likely to be an accident or suicide as opposed to enpopment of a cap in your ass by someone else. (We've pointed out before that the person most likely to shoot an American is himself - though he's enormously more likely to die in a car crash, a fall or an accidental poisoning of some kind and nearly as likely to intentionally kill himself by other means. We must also not forget the awful dangers posed by computer equipment and that fearful engine of death the hot tub.)

Anyway for now, our readers in the big cities of the USA can rest assured that they are in fact much safer from a violent demise than they would be if they moved to the countryside. Full details of Myers' and his colleagues' work are to be published today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. ®

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