Study Shows Country Life Full of Danger, Self-Knifings

Tired of city life? Yearn to light out for the country? Think twice, it could kill you, or at least hurt you real bad. A new study from the University of West Virginia (and they should know) says that while urbanites suffer more hospitalizations for assault (props!), the hicks in the sticks get injured badly enough to wind up in the hospital (or, as they call it in God's Country, the healin' smokehouse) far more frequently than city folk -- 35 percent more often in "sparsely populated rural counties" and 27 percent more often in more populated rural counties. In fact, says WVU's Dr. Jeffrey H. Coben, "As the population density decreases, the risk continues to increase." Don't that beat all?

The study, appearing in the January American Journal of Preventive Medicine, says rural people are "more likely to take part in risky behaviors such as recreational drug use, drunken driving or failing to use seatbelts." Also, their "culture of self-reliance" leads them "to undertake household fix-up chores that are inherently dangerous, such as roof repairs" or whittlin'.

The study also says rurals suffer more "self-inflicted injuries... with poisons, knives and guns the instruments of choice." Knives? Hard-corn! Respect for our country cousins, y'all. They got a mighty rough life out yonder.

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