Alcohol-related Traffic Fatalities

Earlier this year the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended changes in the current blood alcohol limits to reduce youth drunk driving. The NTSB wants the limit dropped/increased from 0.08 to 0.05. Fun side note, technically, the NTSB needs to have the states enact this on their own accord because such limits are not federal power. Instead, the federal government uses the threat of witholding federal transport money as a means of urging states to comply.

Anyway, the New York Times took a look at the data on fatal crashes and blood alcohol in two heat charts. The first looks at the ages of drivers. The youth problem is self-evident.

Alcohol-related traffic fatalities by age
Alcohol-related traffic fatalities by age

Toggling to time of day shows perhaps a more commonly thought pattern: drunk driving rises significantly after midnight.

Alcohol-related fatalities by time of day
Alcohol-related fatalities by time of day

In general I think the piece is very successful. In particular, the breakout or separation of the new limits shows in clear relief how important those three hundredths could be in lowering alcohol-related traffic fatalities. And as seems to be increasingly the case with at least the Times, the use of annotations makes the story told by the data far clearer.

Perhaps the only design quibble I have is the shape of the squares. The rounded corners create weird, little white gaps between cells. And especially in the darker fields, they distract me more so than small, thin borders otherwise would.

Credit for the piece goes to Alastair Dant, Hannah Fairfield, and Andrew W. Lehren.

Terrorism in the United States

Terrorism is not new to the United States. As this graphic from the New York Times shows, even in recent decades, we experienced quite a lot of it. In 1970 there were over 400 attacks. However, since 2001, the United States has seen far fewer attacks. Fortunately the Boston Marathon bombing is not as bad as it could have been. But even then, thankfully the bombing is a relative anomaly.

Incidence of Terrorist Attacks in the United States
Incidence of Terrorist Attacks in the United States

Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of the Times.

The Boston Marathon Bombing in More Detail

Today’s post comes from the New York Times and offers more detail on the twin terror bombings Monday. While the topic is surely gruesome, the interactive graphic is clean without the inclusion of photos or videos of the violence. It focuses on the facts without the fanfare or sensationalism to which we are accustomed from a media that too often needs it to draw and sustain viewership. A sober and informative piece from the New York Times.

Details of the Boston Marathon Bombing
Details of the Boston Marathon Bombing

Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of the Times.

Whence Chicago’s Guns Came

Chicago has crime problems. Specifically homicides and gun-related crimes. This is despite the fact that Chicago has some of the strictest gun regulations in the country. But over the last decade, the Chicago Police Department has collected nearly 50,000 guns (excluding buybacks and turn-ins) of which nearly half originated from outside the state. The map below comes from an infographic by the New York Times that traces the origins of those guns.

Whence the guns came
Whence the guns came

Particularly useful are the small maps that accompany this larger one. The first looks at the Chicago metropolitan area, the second the country as a whole with counties filled-in if even one gun originated there, and then the third looks at Mississippi.

Credit for the piece goes to Kevin Quealy and Tim Wallace.

Mexico: the Land of Many Countries (or Comparisons Thereto)

On Thanksgiving, the Economist published an interactive map that looked at Mexico across three metrics: murders, murder rates, and population. Mexico is one of the more populated countries in the world, but it is also one of the most dangerous. In the middle of the previous decade, the Mexican government began to crack down on the drug cartels. But the cartels have violently resisted. Very violently.

The map is nothing new. It labels different Mexican states by comparing their statistics to those of countries across the world. For example, the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, one of the “fronts” of this new drug war, has a population of 3.41 million people. The total number of murders so far this year is 2,350. That is only six murders fewer than in the entire country of the Ukraine. Did I mention the population of the Ukraine is over 45 million. More than ten times the size of Chihuahua. And the comparisons go on, though as the map clearly points out the distribution is not uniform.

Murder rates in Mexico
Murder rates in Mexico

In terms of interactivity, a nice little feature is the filtering of the map by the legend at the bottom. Hover over one of the bars and only those areas appear coloured in the map.

Mexican Drug Cartels

Mexico has some serious problems. Primarily with the drug cartels. About two weeks ago the National Post created an infographic that looked at the northern spread of Mexican drugs into the United States. The infographic also included details on the transit and transportation networks the different drugs take along with the geographic spread of the various cartels from the Tijuana, Federation, Juarez, and Gulf Cartels as reported by US cities.

Foreign Policy magazine rates countries as to how close they may or may not be to becoming failed states. Mexico is among those that have fallen into the “Warning” category over the recent years. The second half of the infographic looks at why. In short, in the past few years over 50,000 people have been killed in drug-related homicides and several more thousand have simply disappeared. The police, military, civilian officials, journalists, &c. have become targets of the cartel if they oppose the cartels.

Mexico has some serious problems. Sadly problems have a tendency to spill over borders.

Cropping of the Mexican Cartel infographic
Cropping of the Mexican Cartel infographic

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathan Rivait and Richard Johnson.

Brotherly Love

From the New York Times we have a graphic that looks at homicides across several different US cities. And in Chicago, they are up significantly from this point last year. So too is Philly, but I like to think of that as an outpouring of brotherly love.

Homicides
Homicides