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Study: Big Cities Safer Than Small Towns

Are you a small, rural town person or a big, urban city fan? Whatever your taste, where do you feel safer? A recent study shows small town U.S.A. isn't a safe haven compared to big city life.

Brandi Michelle Wright has lived in Alexander in rural Morgan County for 15 years. How safe does she feel?

"I don't have any problems or anything," Wright said.

While Wright feels her life isn't in danger living in a rural area, a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania shows big cities are safer to live in. For example, it found deaths by injury were 22 percent more likely in rural areas compared to urban areas. It also found the risk of accidental injuries was 40 percent higher in rural areas.

"You have been out on country roads," Jacksonville Police Chief Tony Grootens said. "They are more narrow. You have farm equipment and other equipment that travel these roads and it takes longer for emergency personnel to respond to an incident than an urban area."

Grootens has worked in towns of all sizes. He says he is not surprised by the study. While homicide rates are higher in big cities compared to rural, small towns, the study also found death by guns were about the same in both areas. The difference was in age. Death by guns was higher in cities for those 20-44 years old, while death by guns was higher in small towns for those over the age 45.

"You're apt to have more hunting accidents in rural areas than urban areas because in urban areas, there is no hunting," Grootens said.

Meanwhile, for Wright, she isn't too worried for her safety living in a rural town, despite what the study found.

"You know everyone," Wright said. "It's safe. You don't have to worry about anything."

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