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Study finds greater risk of fatal accident in rural areas

Since much of the state consists of rural areas, Wisconsin residents may be interested to learn about a recent study that compares the dangers of urban and country life. In general, the study concludes that those who live in rural areas are 20 percent more likely to suffer a potentially fatal serious injury than those who live in urban areas. The reason: The risk of suffering a serious car accident is much higher in rural areas than in the city.

The study was published in the Annals of Emergency Room Medicine and examined deaths from car accidents, shootings, drug overdoses and other such causes. According to researchers, an equal number of rural and urban residents die from shootings, while more city dwellers die from drug poisonings. However, since the rate of car accident fatalities dwarf those related to shootings and drug poisonings, the study concludes that urban areas are statistically safer than rural areas.

Given the greater population density of urban areas, the study's results may surprise some people. That said, it should be noted that it doesn't study car accidents in general, but rather fatal car accidents. Most city accidents consist of relatively low-speed "fender benders," while rural accidents tend to involve much higher velocities. Someone who is injured in a high-speed rural accident can easily suffer serious, life-threatening injury.

If a person has been seriously injured in an accident, it's possible that they're eligible to receive compensation for the damages they've sustained. If a negligent driver caused the accident, the victim's attorney may be able to negotiate with the other party's insurance company to secure a settlement on their client's behalf. In addition, an attorney can review the circumstances of the accident to determine liability. A party to a car accident who is found liable for another party's injuries may be held accountable for the victim's pain and suffering.

Source: Press Herald, "City dwelling less risky than country living, statistics show", July 25, 2013

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