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

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 …

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  1. Big-nosed Pengie

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

    I fixed that for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Haven't you watched

      Midsummer Night Murders?

      Of course it's more dangerous to live in the country.

      1. frank ly

        @AC Re: Haven't you watched

        But that's only for one night of the year, so the daily average is not bad. Or did you mean 'Midsomer Murders'?

      2. DanceMan

        Re: Haven't you watched

        Beat me to it, damn 15 hour days. Would have said, "Avoid Midsomer, the murder rate is frightful."

        However, they're all solved within an hour and a half.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: Haven't you watched

          And Cabot Cove

          1. wowfood

            Re: Haven't you watched

            Considering the population and how long the shows been going on, I'm suprised there's anyone left in Midsomer.

            1. Nuke
              Holmes

              @Wowfood - Re: Haven't you watched

              Wrote :- "Considering the population and how long the shows been going on, I'm suprised there's anyone left in Midsomer."

              It's got nothing on St Mary Mead, where huge numbers of Agatha Christies' murders took place. In fact "Midsomer" is meant to be a county, and St Mary Mead is just a village.

        2. BongoJoe
          Childcatcher

          Re: Haven't you watched

          Beat me to it, damn 15 hour days. Would have said, "Avoid Midsomer, the murder rate is frightful."

          However, I would prefer to live there than in Stephen King's Castle Rock where one has demons and portals to the nether dimensions opening every five minutes spilling out all sorts of undesirable nasties.

          1. beep54
            Devil

            Re: Haven't you watched

            Actually, you're safe on that score. Both Castle Rock and Sunnydale (you know, Hellmouth and all) were eventually destroyed. DO, however, avoid staying at the Overlook Hotel in any case.

          2. Tabor

            Re: Haven't you watched

            @BongoJoe : Let's hope Cameron didn't read that, or next on the filter list will be everything related to Stephen King... after all, anything refering to "dimensiosn" which are "nether" MUST be about enlargements of the penile kind.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Haven't you watched

        I almost sounds by reading this article that the American belief that arming yourself will prevent crime. It sounds like if everyone has firearms, they are more likely to accidentally kill each other than prevent a crime!

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. cortland

          Re: Haven't you watched

          Fortunately, that that belief is not required to live in America -- even if one is American.

          Anyway, I'm a retired soldier and an engineer; I can think up more horrible ways to kill people if I want to.

          Isn't it nice I DON'T?

    2. Aoyagi Aichou

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

      Unless you live in a country that has, you know, incomparably worse living (and dying) conditions, like Russia or some other Soviet-area country... or most of Africa and middle-east. Probably Central and South America too!

      In other words, a lot of people. I wonder how many of them read The Register though...

      Oh well, back to my first-world problems.

      1. Dagg
        Big Brother

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

        Aoyagi Aichou 10:36 - Actually I lived in the states for a while and I remember a report about government travel advisories that stated that the US was the most dangerous place to live outside of a declared war zone.

        So Aoyagi Aichou all the paces you mentioned are not war zones and will actually be safer than the US.

        1. Aoyagi Aichou

          @Dagg

          And you trust travel advisories over those mentioned here? Funny. Nice use of The Onion logic there...

    3. User McUser

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

      This seems apropos: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3020

      1. GT66

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

        It's hardly invisible. It's lined with a huge fence and signs hung on it that read: "If you can read this, you're on the side that sucks."

        1. B1ngoCrepuscule
          Angel

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

          Err...why do they have signs pointing inwards?

    4. GT66

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

      Foolishness. The USA is perfectly safe as long as you don't breath the air, drink the water, eat the food, or leave the house*. Perfectly... safe!

      * The USA is not responsible if you are killed in your home when it is destroyed by fire, tornado, hurricane, avalanche, flood, earthquake or is driven through by a vehicle or collided into by airplane, helicopter, or drone. The USA is also not responsible if you are killed in your home during a home invasion by armed criminals, home invasion by armed police, by shoddy construction techniques or by shoddy construction materials.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    So what's with the drugs? Or is that the "war on drugs" whereby you get killed by SWAT team raiding your home in the woods at six in the morning for fun and giggles?

  3. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    Elfin?

    Sounds like they need a lot more health and safety inspectors, here, have ours, all of them, keep them a while...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elfin?

      Need some elves to deal with the army of "unintentional injury dwarfs"

      1. VinceH

        Re: Elfin?

        Well, when I got to "the rate of unintentional injury dwarfs" I paused and wondered if there was a "to" missing. Then I carried on reading and the sentence made sense.

        1. Michael 28
          Coat

          Re: Elfin?

          remember, six out of seven dwarves are not happy!!!!!

          Mine's the leprachaun costume... keeping my head down.

  4. lglethal Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    One thought...

    Without reading the paper itself (I'm too lazy to do that right now), has the good Doctor taken into account that it is not only people living in rural areas that have crashes in rural areas? City folk do travel to rural areas occasionally (family visits, holidays, etc.). Since its well known that more crashes and deaths occur on the roads on holiday weekends (when city folk are also travelling the rural roads), has the doctor seperated that particular statistic out of his work?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: One thought...

      indeed. flawed "research" from a so-called expert. The percentage of "country folk" having crashes is nothing like that quoted.

      1. Richard 120

        Re: One thought...

        Hard to crash a tractor. N'est-ce pas?

        1. Admiral Grace Hopper

          Re: One thought...

          It's no harder to crash a tractor than any other vehicle, but if you do crash it you are often less accessible than most cars are when crashed. You'll also find them quite uncomfortable to crash into when they're fitted with front loaders, fertiliser spreaders and the like. In fact, it's the the things bolted to or towed by tractors that seem to cause more grief. When a farmer was killed unjamming his muck-spreader while he was still leaning into it I did add a highlighted entry onto my list of ways that I'd rather not die.

        2. Getriebe

          Re: One thought...

          "Hard to crash a tractor. N'est-ce pas?" Pas de tout, they fall over

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to survive in the countryside

    32% of fatal car accidents involve alcohol; 31% of fatal wrecks involve speeding; 31% involve not using a seat belt.

    Moral of the story? Slow down, don't drink and drive, and put on your seat belt, and your chances of living until the completion of your drive will increase tremendously. Even in the countryside.

    1. FreeTard
      Happy

      Re: How to survive in the countryside

      Yes but D.U.I is simply not considered an issue in the states. Last year when over there I went out with some locals one night, and we got totally blattered. I was the only one who ordered a taxi home. And the other lads and lassies all drove their own cars home and they had more to drink than I did.

      When I mentioned a taxi as a good alternative, they said, "No, were used to drinking and driving, you're not, so that's why you need the cab".

      WTF

      1. Tom 13

        Re: D.U.I is simply not considered an issue in the states.

        Right, complete non-issue that why we have MADD and insanely low blood alcohol levels for DUI now.

        Yeah, I lived with someone for a while who thought nothing of drinking and driving. He was a twit. Just like your friends. The friends I hang out with don't drink and drive. If there's a party with alcohol the people drinking are likely to be crashing at the host's domicile or riding back to a hotel with friends.

        You need to choose your friends more carefully. Might I suggest staying away from the idiots in cities and getting to know some folks in the suburbs?

      2. sisk

        Re: How to survive in the countryside

        Yes but D.U.I is simply not considered an issue in the states.

        False. As an American I can assure you that most of us take drinking and driving quite seriously and would like to see offenders taken off the streets. In fact, we make a pretty decent effort to catch them and revoke their licenses.

        Last year when over there I went out with some locals one night, and we got totally blattered. I was the only one who ordered a taxi home. And the other lads and lassies all drove their own cars home and they had more to drink than I did.

        When I mentioned a taxi as a good alternative, they said, "No, were used to drinking and driving, you're not, so that's why you need the cab".

        Don't judge our whole population on the actions of those type of idiots. You have your fair share of morons in the UK, we have ours in the US. Ours are just louder than yours.

        1. Marshalltown
          Facepalm

          Honestly, bicyclists are worse than drunks

          I would rather see bicyclists off the streets until they start obeying traffic laws. They ignore a stop sign and Darwin has his way, but the driver of the vehicle somehow or other is at fault. I think the police ignore bicycle traffic violations because either the assume bicyclists are too poor to bother with, or that they are a self-correcting problem. They're worse in the country when you common around a curve headed downhill with a ton of hay in the back. You can meet 20 or 30 out for a ride and taking up the whole road. And bicyclists texting!!!

      3. J__M__M

        Re: How to survive in the countryside

        I'm sure your decision had everything to do with self control and nothing to do with your crappy Vauxhall or whatever being 4500 miles away at the time...

      4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: How to survive in the countryside

        Yes but D.U.I is simply not considered an issue in the states.

        And apparently generalizing from personal anecdote is not considered an issue anywhere.

        And I see 29 other geniuses upvoted your brilliant display of rational thinking. Sigh.

    2. nevstah

      Re: How to survive in the countryside

      its not purely speed that kills, its inappropriate speed for the conditions and inability to control a vehicle at speed that can kill. city folk drive too fast in rural areas. people need to LEARN to drive! the driving test only checks competance at low speed manouvres and some general knowledge of road rules

      city kids are streetwise, country kids are countrywise - that becomes engrained in your nature and its hard to change! especially if you have a basic lack of understanding of the dangers around you

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: How to survive in the countryside

        "its not purely speed that kills..."

        It's not speed that kills AT ALL

        It's the sudden deceleration...

        1. Aggrajag
          Thumb Down

          Re: How to survive in the countryside

          "It's the sudden deceleration..."

          I'd like to know how a pedestrian walking at 3mph can die from suddenly decelerating.

          1. Ted Treen
            Boffin

            Re: How to survive in the countryside

            "I'd like to know how a pedestrian walking at 3mph can die from suddenly decelerating."

            Unlikely - but possibly from decelerating from 3mph to 0mph when walking into a brick wall or similar, and the skull takes most of the impact. However, any motorist/motorcyclist travelling at say 50mph faces a rapid deceleration, whether or not they hit a tree or another vehicle or whatever.

            This can have a somewhat deleterious effect upon human liveware...

          2. Dazed and Confused

            Re: How to survive in the countryside

            > "It's the sudden deceleration..."

            I'd like to know how a pedestrian walking at 3mph can die from suddenly decelerating.

            Deceleration is just acceleration in the opposite direction and so the effect is the same, the problem the pedestrian dies from is parts of their anatomy suffering extreme acceleration.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How to survive in the countryside

            Aggrajag sez 'I'd like to know how a pedestrian walking at 3mph can die from suddenly decelerating.'

            I'd like to know what a pedestrian is doing in the countryside in the first place .. Did they run out of gas ?

      2. Tom 13

        @nevstah

        Good points, but having grown up in a rural area and moved to the city, I'm willing to bet the so-called brain boffin didn't bother to properly analyze his data. In either location I'd rather be driving with people who learned to drive in the rural America than the line crowding, tailgating, non-signaling when changing lanes morons from the city. I'd put up a paycheck that at least half of those rural accidents were caused by city drivers.

        Hell, it takes me a week to decompress and get back to good driving practices* when I visit my parents who still live where I grew up.

        *in practice for where I live I found the following definitions to be true:

        - Safe following distance is your front quarter panel placed at about the mid-point of the rear quarter panel of the car next to you

        - Safe speed is 10 mph over the posted limit in patrolled areas, 15-20 in unpatrolled areas, dead in known locations for speed cameras.

        - the first 3 seconds of a red light are optional, so be prepared when you get a green

        - on divided highways with two lanes on either side, the passing lane is the safe travel lane

        - never use a turn signal for a lane change, that's really a signal for the guy next to you to move to Safe Following distance as defined above

        Oh, and rush hour accidents are just the randomizers for relocating the usual slowdowns.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: How to survive in the countryside

      Of course I prefer Lee Mack's ideas about drinking and driving:

      NSFW!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moUChycJzIc

    4. apjanes

      Re: How to survive in the countryside

      Andy. While I don't disagree with your conclusions that it's best not to drink & drive, speed or ride without a seatbelt, I do see this as on of the ways statistics can be manipulated to make a point. Simply adding together the stats you quote could lead to the believe that 94% of fatal accidents (32 + 31 + 31) involve drink, excessive speed and no seatbelt use, a pretty high figure! However, unless there is some sanitising going on that you haven't told us about, many of those accidents could involve drink AND speed AND lack of seatbelts (a seemingly likely combination) which will skew the results. In the extreme, if ALL the accidents involved all three then the results would be more like: 32% of fatal car accidents involve alcohol, excessive speed and lack of seat belts, or, less impressively, 68% of fatal car accidents do NOT involve alcohol, excessive speed and lack of seat belts.

      Again, not disagreeing with the principle, just pushing a little against the whole "Lies, damn lies and statistics" thing.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. DJO Silver badge
        Joke

        Statistics for fun and profit.

        "32% of fatal car accidents involve alcohol"

        So 68% of fatal car accidents involve sober drivers therefore it statistically more than twice as dangerous to drive sober than drunk.

        Pass me the tequila.

      3. breakfast

        Re: How to survive in the countryside

        Also, the three point advice given don't necessarily protect me when someone too drunk to fasten their seatbelts speeds into my car. Driving under the influence and driving too fast are a danger to everyone on the road, not just the participants.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Flame

          Re: How to survive in the countryside

          > Also, the three point advice given don't necessarily protect me when someone too drunk to fasten their seatbelts speeds into my car.

          Untrue. That 3 point advice will likely be the difference between you living and you dying.

          We're not nearly as helpless as some people like to think.

    5. Mr_Pitiful
      Stop

      Re: How to survive in the countryside

      I have a friend who lives in rural South Carolina

      When she drives she always has a booze drink in her cup holder

      Usually a pint & a half off White Russian, with hardly any milk in it!

      Scary

    6. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Slow down

      Surely slowing down would just result in more, if less sever, accident.

      People driving slowly are bored

      Bored people don't concentrate

      People not concentrating on the road while driving are the cause of 99.9% of all accidents.

      Therefore driving slowly is a cause of accidents.

      1. PC Paul

        Re: Slow down

        Completely agree.

        In fact if I'm on a long boring drive, I tend to speed up until it gets exciting enough to keep me WIDE awake.

        Anyway, speed doesn't kill people, _speed_difference_ is what kills people. Whether it's the difference between you and a static lump of concrete, or between you and the idiot doing 50mph down the middle lane of a fast flowing motorway.

        There are some usually arbitrary numbers-onna-stick as well, but they don't really count for anything safety-wise, as long as you are doing roughly what everyone else is doing.

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Pete 2

    Emergency services?

    And how many of those deaths (from whatever cause) would have been survivable in the city, where medical assistance would be on the spot very quickly?

    In a lot of country areas (less-so in the UK due to the much higher population density) it would take an age for an ambulance to attend any of these accidents. That's if there was a way of alerting them of the incident in the first place. While it's unusual in the UK, a lot of the boonies in america have no mobile phone coverage and no passers-by to call it in.

    1. rh587 Silver badge

      Re: Emergency services?

      Oh I don't know. A farmer friend busted his leg and had his leg immobilised in plaster for several months. And got Deep Vein Thrombosis. When a chunk of clot from his DVT came off at 1am and got stuck in his heart the ambulance made it there in 7.5 minutes. That's deepest rural Staffordshire, so if you're up in the Scootish Highlands, mileage may vary, but response times ain't bad even in the sticks.

      On the comms front, a US colleague is moving from Chicago to the sticks in Washington State. Consistent 4G coverage along the whole move and better broadband than we can get in Stoke on Trent... Come on BT, stop messing around with Jake Humprey (dashing though he is) and get the fecking fibre installed so we can actually sensibly watch BT Sport...

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: Emergency services?

        What I have witness is fire trucks getting lost in the country side. Never seen that happen in the city.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Emergency services?

      In a lot of country areas (less-so in the UK due to the much higher population density) it would take an age for an ambulance to attend any of these accidents.

      I grew up in northern england where our nearest hospital was 40 miles away and, until they built a new ambulance station nearby, any ambulance would need to come ~20 miles to get to us. Somehow we survived! Perhaps that's why I take a jaundiced view to all the current "save our local hospital" campaigns in cities where its stated that having A&E an extra 5-10 minutes away is going to lead to a cull of the population not seen since the black death.

      1. Tom Wood

        "Somehow we survived!"

        That's OK then.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Emergency services?

        been thinking the EXACT same thing! There's been a story in the news of a hospital in the NW (Greater Manc I think) that's going to have its A&E downgraded so it only opens at certain times, oh the uproar (I wonder how many other A&E departments are within a few min's trip from the one that *might* close, gets on my t*ts, get real. Down here in SE Cornwall my nearest major hospital is Derriford in Plymouth, that's 25 miles from my house, the nearest ambulance is usually stationed about 12 miles away, so if you need it in a hurry tuff sh*t not happening, you'd be VERY lucky to be in hospital in less than 1h 10mins from when you put the call in. Next nearest A&E is Truro that's knocking on to 50 miles from home in the other direction.

        The wife was blue lit in to Derriford last year when she went in to labor, feck me I thought I was going to die in the ambulance, wrong side of the road on some very dodgy bits of road, and the crew weren't a local crew either so didn't normally do the run, but they did it in a very impressive 45 mins a normal drive takes about 1h!

        And a few years back I was blue lit in when I managed to stick my arm through a glass door panel, took a nic out of an artery, in my arm blood everywhere, still took the ambulance a while to get to me and in to Hospital, lucky for me we have a first responder system in my village they were bleeped and they got too me pretty dam quick, may not be here today if they hadn't

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Emergency services?

      It's not a question of cell phone coverage. Even in traveling to remote areas I usually have signal. What you might not have is the helicopter on stand-by for emergency evacuation to trauma unit at top tier university research hospital.

      But then again in rural areas you don't usually have enough of those kinds of accidents to justify the expense of having that helicopter and its flight crew.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And what about the stress?

    Just living in and moving around a City is stressful

    Living in the country should give you a slower pace of life. Less stress IMHO.

    I lived in London when I was a student from 1972-75 and found it really stressful. I can't imagine what it must be like now. All that noise 24/7, traffic and people rushing everywhere as fast as they can pah. Thankfully I have managed to avoid working full time in London even though I live less than 40 miles away. Now I work from home. Hmmm, I think I will go out for a walk soon. I'm only 10 mins from Leith Hill.

    Luckily the rate of death from 'Weapons' such as guns are very low in this country and yes, I own a Shotgun (legally)

    1. tojb
      Stop

      Re: And what about the stress?

      If you want a "slower pace of life" try crossing London from one side to the other during the day.

  8. Yet Another Commentard

    It would be interesting to see similar mortality (or even injury) data for the UK too.

    Farms are dangerous places, much of the machinery will kill you and operators often spend hours isolated using lethal things where there is patchy mobile coverage at best.

    I seem to recall that suicide is also very high amongst farmers.

    It's also not just people who live there, but those visiting. There's a good, twisty, nicely surfaced and reasonably clear bit of road near us that attracts cars and bikers just to drive down it really quickly (I mean really quickly, think TT type speeds), ignoring speed limits and little villages with pubs and no pavements. These drivers get impatient behind farm vehicles or more pedestrian drivers and overtake. They scream around blind bends not realising there could be a combine waiting for them, or just a bunch of cyclists. As a result, sunny days attract many casualties from outside the area and residents (some locals drive like nutters too, claiming they "know the road" so can get away with it). This isn't a call against speeds, more an appeal to use speed appropriately and within the driver's skill limit.

    There was an article on the Today Programme this morning tangentially mentioning this, and amongst the usual gripes about broadband a very interesting point was made - as mobile coverage is so poor in rural areas anyone in distress (such as a car accident, a fall whilst walking etc) can be utterly isolated, increasing response times (nobody can respond until they know there's a problem) and increasing the chances of death as a result. In urban areas one is seldom too far from reasonable enough mobile coverage or a fixed landline, in the sticks it's very hit and miss. Perhaps death rates could be reduced by the improvement of mobile coverage?

    1. DanceMan

      good, twisty bit of road

      I have two corners I love on the way home at night at 1 or 2am, and I can see if there's anyone coming, urban area.

      For the rest, this is what track days are for.

    2. Gideon 1

      Twisty roads...

      Twisty roads aren't as dangerous as straight ones with occasional blind corners/dips. I live on one of the most dangerous roads in Scotland, the A70 which, like the A9, couldn't be described as twisty.

    3. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

      Rural UK accident rates scientific survey.

      The following documentary is FACT.

      There is absolutely no evidence to support it but it is a fact.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0GyRz_lOQA

      So based on the scientific study thereby conducted, if you so much as clap eyes on a farm in the UK, you >will< die one of the horrible, grizzly deaths detailed therin.

      My scienceings are now concluded.

      Give me my PhD immediately.

    4. NukEvil
      Mushroom

      The death rates need to be much higher. I need my air.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      a poor young 6yr old died yesterday on his grandads farm in NI. A mate of mines lost her dad when his tractor rolled on top of him when we were kids

    6. Tom 13

      Re: farm vehicles or more pedestrian drivers and overtake.

      farm vehicles and more pedestrian drivers?

      You should see what happens when there's an Amish horse and buggy on the road!

  9. Magister

    Just one thought; being in the country often means that you are further away from access to emergency services when compared to those in urban areas.

    No indication of what that meant in terms of those not receiving treatment in time to save their lives.

    1. dogged

      Just one thought; being in the country often means that you are further away from access to emergency services when compared to those in urban areas.

      True but they're less likely to let you die because they're stuck in traffic.

      On the other hand, a speeding ambulance on a single-track country road is not a good thing for anyone.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Air ambulance!!

      Mind you thats been sold off so they might put a meter in it or something...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Air ambulance!!

        sold off? As far as I know most air ambulances in the UK aren't funded by the NHS but are charities and have to raise their own funds. Certainly that's the case in Cornwall or Devon. Bet the London ones are funded by the NHS though, bound to be!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Air ambulance!!

          Partly funded yes.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Air ambulance!!

            what a surprise!

  10. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    If you live in the country, you drive more, especially in the US country, where small towns don't even provide sidewalks.

    How many Americans still drive American cars? The bankruptcy of Detroit suggests not many do, but if they're widely used in the boondocks these trashy machines would account for a pretty high mortality rate.

    Also, I think the legal age for driving is lower in the USA, and the driving test seems to be something of a formality (it would infringe your civil liberties not to be allowed to drive). Young drivers account for a high proportion of fatalities everywhere in the world.

    In the part of rural USA that I've visited most, there seemed to be pretty regular fatalities on the gateless level crossings, despite the fact that the trains travel at about 15 mph and you can see them coming miles away.

    1. Dan Paul
      Devil

      Are you Ignorant or just Stupid?

      The City of Detroit went bankrupt NOT due to who does or does not own American cars but due to the fact that the city had built up huge debt obligations for employee pensions and borrowing, had unbelievable crime levels forcing many to leave, could not change teacher staffing or close schools due to union obligations, then all the people who could move out to the suburbs left and the city tax base floundered.

      Granted, the Auto companies did not help as they and other manufacturers outsourced what were decent paying jobs to Mexico, China and elsewhere, further reducing the tax base by forcing people to move elsewhere and making it impossible for the city to keep up with their debt service.

      The fact is that almost every large city in the US (and many elsewhere) are in a similar situation and if they keep taxing the very piss out of their citizens as they do now, they will be declaring bankruptcy just like Detroit.

      I hope this happens to New York City as soon as possible just because their politicians and many citizens are such snide, sniveling bastards and the whole place needs the Snake Blisskin treatment IMHO so they can't leech any more money from us upstate citizens to prop up their house of cards.

      You ignorance/bias/stupidity about the quality and safety of American cars is astounding when most are at or above the customer satisfaction and safety levels of most popular forgeign vehicles of similar cost. I guarantee that our full size cars will be safer than ANY of your little "mini's" in a direct accident. Of course, you don't get those cars over there because they are too large for you. All you get are our small ones that suck in many cases.

      Yes, the driving age is lower here (14 on farms and 16 on roads) and license tests are fairly easy but hey, we aren't (in most areas) trying to put roadblocks on personal driving to prop up transit systems the way Europe has. I would welcome stricter testing and training to have unlimited speeds like the Autobahn here in the US. (just so 80 year old grannies would stop driving on highways)

      You must have failed geography since you folks never quite grasp exactly how large the USA is and thus how far it is between cities and thus why we all drive. The chance of accidents is based on the amount of time you are on the road and when you commute by car for 60 miles in one direction so you can get a decent job, you are at a greater risk of accident (Duh)! New York State and Pennsylvainia together are about as large as Germany and we have 48 more states left over. For reference, Upstate New York is second in dairy production to Wisconsin so there is way more greenspace and farms (520 Miles) between Buffalo and NYC than you comprehend.

      If you folks want to live squeezed together like rats in a cage, feel free; but we would rather live at least 30 feet from our closest neighbor in standalone houses, NOT apartments. Personally I'd rather be 1/4 mile away or more from anyone else just for the peace and quiet. BTW, who really need sidewalks in the country? Here the roads are full size and there is room for full size cars and the shoulders are large enough for bicycles and pedestrians. With the exception of some older cities, we don't have roads that barely fit a single horsecart like many in European cities or towns.

      At one time or another, all of us are guilty of making sweeping generalizations but really...you should try to be a little more knowledgable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you Ignorant or just Stupid?

        errrmmmm I would have thought (and if not why not!) that the stats would be based on a death per mile travelled basis so this would make allowances for how long/how many miles you travel. Its by this measure that the stats show that driving on the motorway is the safest type of road to drive on as deaths per total miles travelled is way lower than on rural roads.

      2. Brenda McViking
        Trollface

        Re: Are you Ignorant or just Stupid?

        I'm gonna bite. The city of Detroit DID go bankrupt because of American cars. Detroit was completely and utterly reliant on that industry to fund their economy - it was therefore the root-cause. Back in the 90s, the cars Detroit was putting out were nothing short of uncompetitive - the South Korean manufacturers absolutely rinsed the floor, on cost, build quality, fuel economy - the only thing they didn't quite match up to was size (which to some Americans == luxury). Detroit continued, as you said, being bent over by the unions, building up huge debt obligations without the means to get a return on investment (due to the uncompetitiveness of the auto-industry) and as people lost their jobs and quality of life deminished, crime went nuts and everyone left. Cue bankruptcy, it's as simple as that, and it could have happened anywhere that rests on their laurels about how awesome they were in the past, not just limited to American cities - UK shipbuilding and mining towns went that way not that long ago either - again, due to reliance on an uncompetitive industry.

        I have driven about 20 hire cars in North America over the last 6 months, all 2013 models, and I can safely report that all the American models still suffer all the stereotypical problems that Europeans think they suffer - build quality is pretty poor, there is loads of shiny chrome, computers that control everything (which WILL break and be extortionate to fix,) and cheap plastic all over the dash. Fuel economy is still dire - an average 2.4L car (which is about as common as the 1.4L/1.6L car in the UK from my observations) will just about get 30MPG (imperial), which is still considered "good." They accelerate quickly though handling is still rubbish, but their ride is comfortable, and there is lots of space inside. I remember seeing an advert for the Chevy Cruze which can do 56MPG as being the lowest highway fuel consumption in class (it's the size of a mondeo). Euro cars were doing that 5 years ago. The Hyundais and Kias and Toyotas I've driven are worse than in Europe, (they've obviously cut costs in their US models and it shows) but are pretty much superior over US built vehicles, in everything other than space and comfort (which is highly valued in the States but not elsewhere in the world) They're also all sold far cheaper than anything in Europe, and encourage you to go out of your way to pick them up on finance.

        Americans still suffer the delusion that the bigger the vehicle is, the safer you are inside. They have never seen a Euro NCAP style crash test which proves otherwise - I'd take your bet that one of our 2013 "Minis" would be safer for occupants than one of your 2013 Chargers or something in a 40mph collision. I think you'd be surpirsed. Sure, in a question of energy transfer in a collision, a lorry hitting a car is only going one way, and there are a lot of oversize SUVs on the road in the US, but there is an awful lot that can be engineered to mitigate that. I don't accuse the US of standing still though - safety is getting better, same with fuel economy, but they fell a decade behind and are still playing catch up. You're not going to see American models taking the world by storm any time soon, with the possible exception of Ford - their Focus and Fusion (Mondeo in Europe, not that stupid box thing we call the Fusion) are actually reasonable. Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge and GMC (Vauxhall, Opel in Europe) are still woefully outclassed by the Europeans, Japanese and South Koreans.

        But yes, it's an enormous country, it was built around the Internal Combustion Engine and not the horse (as Europe was), and therefore to do anything there you need a car. Sidewalks, more properly known as pavements, are for cities only, as everywhere else is just too far to walk. But when petrol is still sub $1/L, it's not painful to fill up like it is in the UK (doesn't stop them complaining though, hehehehe)

        1. Dan Paul
          Devil

          Re: Are you Ignorant or just Stupid?

          Brenda, I'm not trolling but there has not been a decent tax base in Detroit for 30 years BECAUSE of the Offshoring/Exodus of ALL heavy manufacturing to cheaper manufacturing locations. This is why the Detroit bankruptcy is not a "direct" result of the auto industry but a compound of multiple failures as mentioned in my last post. The auto industry is only one of several problems. The victim/welfare/entitlement mentality of many who live there is their greatest problem and that has never been overcome in large US cities.

          These include the stupidity of not understanding the implications of lost manufacturing and the resulting people leaving for better locations like the south where all the foreign car manufacturers and other manufacturers have located new plants.

          There is more American manufacturing labor content in Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, Kia, and others than in most GM products today.

          Yes, they made shitty cars back then and frankly they (GM/Chevy & Dodge/Chrysler) deserved the reputation. However, there has been a marked and drastic improvement in quality that most Europeans are too full of yourselves to recognize. Next, you have your "tastes" for vehicles and we have ours so lets drop the subjective preferences on interior trim as we won't have 39 types of burl veneer in any American cars anytime soon and ALL trim is made of plastic today on all cars, even most German cars. Computers control all aspects of all cars everywhere regardless of make, model or year unless it was a classic car from the pre emission standard years. Most cars that get 50 plus mpg in Europe are Diesel not gasoline. We don't have many diesel personal vehicles here because diesel is discouraged and used to be very smoky and the few that are have been mostly trucks or buses. Europeans think a 60 mile drive is arduous and for us that's a daily commute so we want comfort and that means being able to drive around on a living room sofa.

          Everything being manufactured is made to meet specific markets, so I would not want a car made for the Indian market and they probably can't afford a US vehicle unless it's made in Asia for that market

          I actually drive Fords and have for the last 20 years. I drive a 2009 Fusion and 3 Taurus before it and think they have been quite good. Ford also did not take the US bailout money so they get my vote for that as well.

          For the record, Americans and 1.5 liter anything are pretty much mutually exclusive of each other. We have motorcycles with more displacement. In a case of SUV against Mini anything, I will take the SUV or full size car any day regardless of who tests what car on what basis.

          As to vehicle size, well most Americans are taller and wider than most Europeans thus little teeny cars are uncomfortable and you can't fit a family of four in most of them. God forbid you want to fit the kids and the weeks groceries in and Opel, it's one or the other. Since everything is spread out, we don't "walk to the store" very often

          Most accidents happen between two vehicles traveling in the same direction not with stationary objects that do not roll. There are no vehicles that win a contest with a brick wall or head-on collision but I will take a larger vehicle over your shoebox cars even if the mileage suffers or some test on a vehicle shows something adverse. Most of our cars can be bought for under $35,000 and we change them out every 2 to 5 years. Many Europeans prefer to buy cars that cost more than a house and they keep them forever.

          Totally different mindset here versus there so why would the product even come close to being the same?

          One is no better than the other depending on your needs. Frankly, if your car costs as much as my home, you have too damn much money for your own good.

        2. J__M__M

          Re: Are you Ignorant or just Stupid?

          How many people do you know who have been in a "Euro NCAP style crash test "? When some drunk a-hole in the 2013 Charger you mention blasts through a red light and plows into the car my wife happens to be driving... I'll take the 5500 pound Yukon every time, thank you. You so much as admit you don't disagree, but then proceed to dismiss the idea as delusional a sentence or two later. Which is it?

          Besides... how would we fit all our guns into some 1.4L Twerpmobile, anyway?

  11. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Old children....

    "were foundto be significantly higher in rural areas for children and people 45 years and older;"

    I know many people over 45 years old, but I must say that I've never met any children that old....

    (Insert 'get my coat' or 'joke alert' icon here - I can't seem to attach icons on this phone)

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Old children....

      I can't seem to attach icons on this phone

      Try using Sellotape if you consider Superglue to be too permanent.

  12. ted frater

    Living in the sticks

    Thats us, miles from anywhere, only link is the phone. Nearest other homestead 1 mile away.

    We like it, and, realise the buck for everything stops with us, and our farm machinery included.

    so we run our lives accordingly.

    I cant recall the last time we had an incident here caused by our own lack of care.

    I find it more stressful in our local town Poole some 17 miles away.

    Anyway I dont really want to know what the us is up to. More useful to all if the article was about the UK.

  13. Frankee Llonnygog

    Cars, guns and drugs are the unholy trinity causing the majority of injury deaths in the US

    This proves that Americans need more sex. Also - I thought only drugs were unholy in the US?

    No Hunter S Thompson Fellowship for you, Dr Myers

  14. codejunky Silver badge

    hmm

    So do you want to increase you chances of dying through an accident or intentionally?

  15. DanceMan

    Now that I've actually read the article, a comment about BC. Death by firearm most likely if you're involved in the drug trade. Next most likely to be by the police. Anecdotal only, no stats to back this up. Far more likely to die in or from a car.

    Most of the recent deaths I know personally among workmates -- from smoking.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Death by firearm most likely if you're involved in the drug trade.

      Years ago I did some work with a guy from Washington DC and he asked whether it was OK to walk around in the West End of London in the evening, so I commented that coming from DC it should be a breeze, DC being the (then) murder capital of the world. He replied that that wasn't a problem, it was just the drugs gangs shooting each other and that while they kept it to themselves it was seen by the police as basically just a public service. All hell broke loose though when the drug gangs killed a civvy.

      1. Maharg

        Re: Death by firearm most likely if you're involved in the drug trade.

        I know people in Belfast who have much the same idea, to them London is a place you can get shot or stabbed randomly anywhere, in Belfast you mostly only get shot or stabbed if you go visit the ‘other’ side, and they hang flags and paint the corners of the pavement so you know when you are entering a different ‘side’ so it’s your own damn fault.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure about "dwarfs"

    Being run over in town is 10.58/100000 according to the article but according to the National Center for Health Statistics the homicide rate is 5.3/100000. That's about half, sure, but hardly "dwarfed". Of that 5.3 more than two-thirds (3.6/1000000) were killings with guns.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not sure about "dwarfs"

      Replying to myself to add that the UK figure for homicides is 0.97/100000 while 0.06/100000 are killings with guns. So that means the US has 60 times more killings with guns per capita and almost 5.5 times more killings overall.

      That's quite a big difference.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Not sure about "dwarfs"

        The truth is even more shocking. Ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20759139

        In "developed" countries, the US is far out in front and followed not very closely by Switzerland, a country often cited as proof that widespread gun ownership isn't a problem if you have the right culture. Ho ho.

        Worldwide, however, the US is nowhere to be seen (26th). Gun deaths pretty much *only* occur in the countries that lie between where the drugs are grown and where they are consumed.

  17. Maharg

    Hot Fuzz

    You do know there are more guns in the country than there are in the city, everyone and their mums is packin' round here!

    Like who?

    Farmers.

    Who else?

    Farmers' mums.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My favourite part

    The term "enpopment", when related to a cap and one's ass (or arse, if you like).

    That's why I keep reading El Reg.

  19. Michael Strorm

    Cows are large and scary

    Article: "Being killed on purpose is more likely in town"

    Really?

    Do you go to the country? It isn't very far. There's people there who'll hurt you 'cos of who you are.

    1. Maharg

      Re: Cows are large and scary

      There is wide spread illness in the countryside as well,

      I know I guy who lives in a house, a very big house in the country. He’s got a bug in his chest, so he needs a lot of rest…

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cows are large and scary

        He needs to get some exercise then. Cut down on his pork life...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yawn - already done for Ireland

    Similar story, "Urban-rural variation in mortality and hospital admission rates for unintentional injury in Ireland" from the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

    "The rate of unintentional injury mortality was significantly higher in rural residents for all-cause unintentional injury mortality, and specifically for deaths related to motor vehicle trauma (MVT), drowning, machinery, and firearms. There were significantly higher mortality in urban residents for falls and poisoning. The rate of unintentional injury hospital admission was significantly higher in rural residents for all-cause unintentional injury and specifically for injuries from falls, MVT, being struck by or against an object, injuries in pedal cyclists, fire/burn injuries, and machinery injuries. Hospital admissions were significantly higher in residents of urban areas for poisoning and injuries in pedestrians."

    http://jech.bmj.com/content/59/7/557.full

  21. SirDigalot

    Americans cannot drive

    My American driving test was 10 minutes, including a 2 minute traffic light, the theory test was less than 5 minutes, although I saw people taking it when I walked into the DMV that were still there when I have registered waited for 10 minutes been processed sat down and taken my test and was leaving... (in fairness my UK theory test (i learnt to drive a tad later then my peer group, a bike was good for me!) was equally as short, but at least 4 or 5 of us managed to finish it up at about the same time...)

    There are many people including my own relatives (in-laws thank goodness) who insist seatbelts cause more damage and are more dangerous then without, and there is always the anecdote of a friend who got trapped wearing one etc, usually upon further questioning there are other factors and/or they were lying, especially when they said the seatbelt trapped them after t-boning someone at a junction... gee I think it did it's job!

    that's also why American cars had airbags that could launch small children into LEO.

    the drug use, at least out here in Central Floriduhh is meth, weed too, but no one likes to admit to it, meth use and meth labs are huge, and these enterprising people many of whom were too msart for our educational system and left before graduating ( or sometimes even attending) high school try to cook up their own using chemicals and a bit of good old American ingenuity! The explosions are impressive!

    The moonshiners - the real ones - however, are artisans! some of the best brazing work I have seen has been on a homemade still some of the strongest stuff too whoo! :D

    Plenty of drink drivers too, though the local 5-0 are pretty up on that and will stake out bars at night, but there is no real public transport so driving is somewhat a given.. unlike say in Chicago where you can go out on the piss all night and get a train bus or taxi home no problem.

    Her indoors and I have often lamented on a shuttle service for a bar, that would have a regualt pickup and drop off all night so people did not need to drive... still yet to work out the logistics, and given that a bartender can be held liable for letting an obviously intoxicated person drive home it would be good for the business.

    personally I stop off at the liquor store buy my booze and head home. I think gun safes should have breathalyzers on them too! oh wait hardly anyone uses a gun safe *LOL*

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    Agree! The stats don't tell the whole story. I left the US after two decades. IMHO there's a very real risk of being held up at gunpoint. During the time I was there at least 50% of my friends and family (100+ people) were robbed at gunpoint.... Some were shot and killed. The hidden risk lies in the fact a robbery may lead to a fatal shooting.... In some neighbourhoods you will also be exposed to crossfire between gangs too. Innocent children die this way. For anyone planning to move to the 'USSA' I would delve further folks....

    1. ian 22

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

      Good god! Where did you live? As you say, there are "bad" neighbourhoods.

  23. BornToWin

    I'll bet the statistics don't account for rural aspects of living

    I'll bet the statistics don't account for occupations and activities of rural residents, which would again make city living far more dangerous. Daily auto accidents alone in city environments raise the risk of death or serious injury.

    As far as the U.S. is concerned I doubt life is any wose there than in Blighty or other parts of Europe.

  24. sisk

    Allow me to point out that 'rural' does not necessarily mean 'country'. By most definitions the entire Western half of the state I live in is rural because of the low population density throughout, but you can be assured that we have several towns throughout the state, some of them of decent size but none big enough to have a Red Lobster. I live in the biggest town in the region, at a population 30,000, and we're still considered rural.

  25. Barbarian At the Gates

    wrapping your motor around a [..] telegraph pole

    ..."telegraph pole"...

    Death by fictional item is always embarrassing for the surviving relatives. I suppose it's less embarrassing than being killed by a Snipe while on a Snipe Hunt.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: wrapping your motor around a [..] telegraph pole

      What's fictional about a telegraph pole? There's one just outside my house.

      1. Marshalltown
        WTF?

        Re: wrapping your motor around a [..] telegraph pole

        Ah, but is there actual telegraph wire on it, or is it really a telePHONE pole?

        1. Yet Another Commentard

          Re: wrapping your motor around a [..] telegraph pole

          Well, the ones by us don't have telephones on them either.

  26. Marshalltown

    How to survive the country life

    First, if you're from the city, stay there. If you simply must move, - e.g. the FBI has shipped you off for witness protection, then learn how to slack. That means don't drive fast on country roads. They have curves, and thanks to your stupid driving you'll miss one real soon, and some poor farmer will have to fix the fence to keep the cattle in BEFORE he calls 911 for you. Next, don't drive fast because you're sure to run into some local who stopped to have a chat with a pal and didn't pull out of the road - it IS the country y'know. Also, don't lobby the county to straighten the roads and fair the curves in the roads. They can't remove all the curves. So you drive faster, which is what you wanted. However, that just makes the clean up after the accident easier since the fire department can simply use a hose, and the family can save money on a very cheap empty casket cremation.

    When it comes to guns, do take that hunter safety course. Don't carry a chambered round - the former vice president is not someone to emulate. Do clear the chamber BEFORE looking down the barrel, and be sure you target practice using a back stop. If your neighbors think you are shooting at them, - well, they have guns too and might shoot back.

  27. freeman-number-2
    Pirate

    Lewis likes guns

    Quel surprise.

  28. tempemeaty

    $

    I hope his study got Dr Sage Myers his funding...

  29. Acme Fixer

    Re: "When I mentioned a taxi as a good alternative, they said, "No, were used to drinking and driving, you're not, so that's why you need the cab"."

    Nah. He just couldn't cope with driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Loaded OR sober.

  30. cortland

    That's just the accidents

    The background noise,so to speak. Cars are now safe enough that, nationally, handgun deaths (most are suicides) outnumber them. I don't know how many of us die of anxiety disorder; fear of fear.

  31. JCitizen

    God you metro people are so stupid! Nobody in their right mind would attack a domicile in the county here! You stupid people don't even know where your food comes from! You better wake up and smell the coffee, because some day you will have nothing, and you will need a friend! Many a friend from the UK has moved to my country and enjoyed complete freedom!

    One day you will find out you are the enemy of your former countrymen, and they will enjoy your complete destruction without doing a damn thing! Have a nice day!

  32. Anonymous Brave Guy
    Coffee/keyboard

    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 <i>telegraph pole</i>

    I thought we did away with the telegraph? (No, not the newspaper, stupid)

  33. lcb

    Raging

    I thought this article was going to be about raging in the city after the title. Technology and wild lives in the city, but just news sites in the countryside, or something!

  34. Gaius Maximus

    Read your own numbers.

    As the powers that be corral us ever more into their 'domed cities of the future' (because they regard us as a blight on their otherwise pristine planet), the natural frictions between people result in astronomical homicides, robberies, rapes, and just general irritation, and all the health-draining consequences that go with it. Heart disease, anyone?

    In the mean-time, rural residents live healthier, happier lives, and aren't really all that upset that you anti-gun, anti-car types no longer wish to live amongst us 'Philistines'.

    Enjoy your latte.

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