Baltimore City and other big city residents might be a bit skeptical about the findings of this study; but, if you’re thinking about chucking city life for the peace and contentment of life far away from the maddening crowds, you might want to reconsider.
You may be safer living in the city than the country, according to a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Researchers found that people living in densely populated urban areas in the United States are 20 percent less likely to die from a serious injury than people who live in urban parts of the country.
When people leave large, urban cities, they often cite concerns about crime and personal injury as well as concerns about the quality of public education and municipal services. Viewing other parts of the country as more peaceful and safe, they often leave the “urban rat race” for the suburbs or rural areas.
But, evidence from the study seems to contradict that belief.
Injury is the leading cause of death in individuals aged one to 44 years in the United States. But, as the study asked: Are there fewer injury-related deaths in non-urban areas?
Nearly 1.3 million people died of injuries in the United States from 1999 to 2006, researchers noted. The numbers include deaths from auto accidents, firearms, poisoning, falls, drowning, suffocation, cuts and heavy machinery, among others.
Surprisingly, urban counties showed the lowest death rates — significantly less than rural counties. After adjustment, the risk of death from injury was 1.22 times higher in the most rural counties compared with the most urban counties.
The most common mechanisms for injury death stemmed from motor vehicles and firearms, according to the study. Indeed, auto accidents are the number one killer across the US. Overall injury and vehicular trauma death rates were higher in rural areas, according to researchers.
Firearm-related death rates, however, did not show this pattern. While the “big city” might seem to some to be a place too often populated by violent gangs and gun-toting criminals, the researchers found that an equal number of people in rural and urban areas die as a result of gun wounds.
Drug overdoses are certainly more common in urban areas. Researchers found that a lower percentage of people in rural areas die of poisoning-like drug overdoses compared with people in large, urban areas.
Research also exists suggesting that rural areas show a much higher level of risk for certain serious injuries such as suicide.
Deaths from terrorist attacks, the vast majority of which occurred on September 11, 2001, were ignored in the study.
So much for fresh air and open spaces.
Injury-related accidents, whether in the cities, the suburbs or in rural areas, are a sad fact of life. If you have been injured because of the negligence of another, you may have a valid personal injury claim under Maryland law. For a free consultation, you can contact Baltimore attorney Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, you can reach The Law Office of Thomas J. Maronick at 410.244.5068 or try our website.