Rural Residents Face More Unintentional Injuries

August 20, 2004

Unintentional injuries-such as those related to motor vehicles, occupational and recreational activities, falls, and firearms-were the fifth leading cause of death in the United States in 2001. Rural residents are particularly at risk due to the prevalence of high-risk occupations (such as agriculture) coupled with greater travel distances to health care providers.
In a national survey of rural health stakeholders, researchers at the Southwest Rural Health Research Center in the School of Rural Public Health, found injury and violence prevention was the 14th highest ranking rural ealth concern out of 28 health focus areas.
The study finds differences in the occurrence of intentional and unintentional injury and death among rural and urban residents. Among these are higher rates of motor vehicle (including all-terrain vehicles) and occupational fatalities in rural than urban areas. Mining, agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries, all prevalent in rural areas, have the highest rates of occupational fatalities.
For more information, see the Centers for Disease Control’s website at “”: or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at “”:

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