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Open Source Stats

Open Source Mapping Software Shows Every Traffic Death On Earth 322

Posted by timothy
from the dashed-line-shows-leaper's-path dept.
cartechboy writes "Traffic deaths are set to outpace AIDS/HIV and malaria in the developing world, so the UN is trying to change that perception. This shocking open source, interactive map of crash data from the Pulitzer Center ought to help. It's grisly, but very informative. The mapping was produced by Pulitzer Center journalists using open source mapping technology from Mapbox. Compare the U.S. fatality rate of 11.4 per 100,000 to that of other nations, like the Dominican Republic, Iran, and Thailand and see how people were traveling when when killed (car, bicycle, etc)."
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Open Source Mapping Software Shows Every Traffic Death On Earth

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  • Disappointing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 22, 2013 @02:22PM (#44645607)

    I was expecting a map pinpointing where every death occurred, instead we have a a funny interface to a list of ~30 countries with the # of death per 100k people.

  • Is there any good reason that this stat is 11.4 out of 100,000 instead of 1.14 out of 10,000 or say a normal percentage?
    • Re:100,000? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @02:49PM (#44645969)

      Is there any good reason that this stat is 11.4 out of 100,000 instead of 1.14 out of 10,000 or say a normal percentage?

      Yes. If they make it "out of 10,000" then for many countries it would be less than one. Who cares if 0.72 person dies? If they make it a million, then it will be dozens to hundreds, and few people have emotional attachments to that many people. But if they use "per 100,000", the number of deaths will be about the same as the number of family members and close friends that a normal person would have.

  • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @02:28PM (#44645687) Homepage

    US Deaths caused by illicit drug overdose - ~5,000 per year
    WAR ON DRUGS!!!!

    US Deaths caused by terrorists - 3000, twelve years ago
    WAR ON TERROR!!!!

    US Deaths caused by hacking - 1 (and that one by "friendly fire", sorry Aaron Schwartz)
    WAR ON HACKING!!!!

    US Deaths caused by automobile accidents - 30,000 per year
    umm...
    We'll get back to you on that.

    (admittedly not a fair or entirely accurate comparison... but it does say something about America's priorities.)

    • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {hmryobemag}> on Thursday August 22, 2013 @02:37PM (#44645811) Journal

      Nothing can be done, no more trillions to blow or civil liberties to obliterate.

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      ... but it does say something about America's priorities.

      You left out gun deaths .. which are were measured as 10.3 per 100,000 in 2010.

      • by thoromyr (673646)

        Any particular reason you chose to report that in equivalent units? If it really is 10.3 per 100,000 then that works out to about 30,000 per year. Which is approximately the traffic rate. That's probably right, at least according to some sources (e.g., http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/09/guns-traffic-deaths-rates/1784595/ [usatoday.com])

        So with all the gun regulation legislation going on and it continuing to be a topic you think there should be, but is not, a "WAR ON GUNS!!!"?

        Supposedly 2/3 of gun deaths

    • by xevioso (598654) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @02:48PM (#44645955)

      US deaths cased by guns in 2010: ~30,000.

      And yet not only do idiot gun control opponents not think this is a problem, they make WAR ON GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION!!! Ludicrous.

      • Go ahead, ignore the facts, you'll sweep in the suckers.

        Legal ownership of guns reduces crime.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          So what?

          Requiring everyone to stay in their homes after dark would also reduce crime (well aside from the "outside after dark offense") should we get on setting that up?

          Implanting everyone with some sort of microchip that electrocutes them if they leave their government assigned house, work, or path from home to work would also reduce crime I suspect.

          Having the police arbitrarily search everyone's property at whim would likely also reduce crime, so that's a good idea, right?

        • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @03:51PM (#44646671)

          Legal ownership of guns reduces crime.

          Ok. Lets assume that this were true. (There's no proof of this, but I'm not even interested in having that argument. Lets just assume, for the sake of argument that the presence of educated and responsible gun owners reduces crime.)

          That's fine. Lets have those.

          But what about uneducated irresponsible idiots? What about the clinically depressed? What about convicted violent felons? Does giving them guns reduce crime? Gun suicides and gun accidents skyrocket with legal ownership.

          Virtually all the proposed gun legislation out there would not take away legal gun ownership anyway, so spasming over that is a red herring.

          Gun advocates aren't waging a war to be able to own guns. They're figting a war against 'background checks' and paperwork for sales at gun shows and on craigslist. They're fighting so that even the most deranged lunatic or depressed idiot or convicted violent felon can buy a gun legally without so much as any one saying "maybe that guy shouldn't have a gun".

          The whole mockery of the gun-advocate isn't because they have a legitimate argument about crime, or the 2nd amendment -- because they do have a legitimate argument to make. But there's no reason a confirmed idiot who has a history of getting drunk and shooting at passing cars should be able to get a gun as easily as a box of instant noodles.

      • You know if you want gun control how about you actually dig deep and make a decent argument for it?

        You say there were 30,000 gun deaths in 2010 but provide no reference. Okay fine I'll give a source [cdc.gov]. As it turns out the number is 31,672 firearm deaths in 2010 in the United States. If you open the PDF you'll find that 61.2% of these (19,383) were suicides. 35% (11,085) were homicides. I haven't looked at exactly where justifiable homicide is included but according to the FBI statistics [fbi.gov] it's only a few hund
    • by bws111 (1216812) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @02:48PM (#44645957)

      So you're saying that the US has done nothing to improve traffic safety? No cell phone or texting laws, no crackdowns on DWI, no improvements to cars or roads? Traffic fatalitiies (per mile driven) have decreased almost every year for the last 90 years. Your post says absolutely NOTHING about 'America's priorities'.

      • So you're saying that the US has done nothing to improve traffic safety? No cell phone or texting laws

        Since those do not actually improve safety - no, the U.S. has done nothing to improve traffic safety. Instead they impose unreasonably low speed limits that ensure there will be a greater discrepancy in vehicle speed on the highway.

        • by Ichijo (607641)

          Instead they impose unreasonably low speed limits that ensure there will be a greater discrepancy in vehicle speed on the highway.

          That wouldn't be a safety problem if they were to start enforcing "keep right except to pass" laws. This is one reason why the Autobahn is safe despite the lack of speed limits.

        • by bws111 (1216812)

          And how exactly do those greater discrepancies in vehicle speed lead to fatal accidents? They don't (unless of course the person who considers himself the superior driver, ie the speeder, has to take some action when he encounters the slower traffic and causes an accident).

          • by hedwards (940851)

            Discrepancies definitely are a risk factor. The safest road is one where nobody is driving at all. The second safest road is where everybody is moving at approximately the same speed with adequate spacing in between them.

            The main reason for that being is that the relative speed of the vehicles with respect to each other is approximately zero, which makes for safer maneuvering of the vehicles with respect to each other. It also makes it easier for people getting on and off the street to judge the time they'

    • US Deaths caused by automobile accidents - 30,000 per year ... it does say something about America's priorities.)

      It says even more about our priorities when you realize that the most important progress in reducing these deaths is being done as a side hobby [wikipedia.org] by two guys that work at an advertising company.

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      We do a lot to make the roads safer, but the bottom line is that when you operate a large metal contraption at speeds often in the 50-80 mph range there will always be a chance that SOMETHING will go wrong.

      One of the main problems we have today is assuming that every problem has a complete solution, when most do not. You do the best you can with what you have.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Solandri (704621)

      US Deaths caused by illicit drug overdose - ~5,000 per year
      WAR ON DRUGS!!!!

      US Deaths caused by automobile accidents - 30,000 per year
      umm...
      We'll get back to you on that.

      Without getting into whether the war on drugs is justified, it's worth pointing out that a fraction of those 34,677 automobile accident deaths are due to illicit drug use. How much is difficult to say since the stats I was able to find last time I looked simply classified those accidents as caused by "driving under the influence" wit

  • by djupedal (584558) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @02:35PM (#44645779)
    One thing missing, is the criteria used to determine how such deaths are qualified in each country. Japan, as an example, has their own criteria where you need to die in the first 12 hours after a crash to be counted as a highway fatality. This is dissimilar from other countries and allows Japan to appear to have much safer highways, cars, etc. in comparison.

    Skewed data is incorrect data, so it might help to at least publish stats based on identical criteria. Unless I missed it, I don't see that as part of this 'study', where it appears the stats are taken as given by each country - best example may be the two perfect scores :)
    • by SirGarlon (845873)

      Skewed data is incorrect data

      Hush! You're not supposed to point out that our new Emperor, Big Data Analytics, has no clothes!

  • >> Traffic deaths are set to outpace AIDS/HIV and malaria in the developing world, so the UN is trying to change that perception.

    What's wrong with "the perception"? This actually looks like good news to me. Is the problem that when people find out about all these traffic deaths (e.g., caused by a convenience) that they quit funding for disease control?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Valdrax (32670)

      It's a poorly edited summary. As I posted above in response to a similar comment, the full text shows that they're trying to change the perception that because traffic deaths are accidental that they're unavoidable.

  • RoadSkill or RoadsKill? PetSmart or PetsMart? ExpertSexchange or ExpertsExchange?

  • Traffic deaths are set to outpace AIDS/HIV and malaria in the developing world, so the UN is trying to change that perception.

    I don't see what perception the UN is trying to change. That traffic accidents are a lesser cause of deaths than AIDS and malaria in developing countries? Does this even qualify as a "perception," much less one that needs rectifying?

  • Anyone else think the ambiguous URL (Roads Kill vs. Road Skill) is just a little bit funny?
  • This chart is nearly useless, as it doesn't account for the average distance traveled per country. You'd be better off reading the wikipedia page that has those stats : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate [wikipedia.org]

    Or looking at trend in deaths / mile over time. For example, the US rate of 1.1 per 100M miles in 2011 is an all-time low : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year [wikipedia.org]

    • by erice (13380)

      This chart is nearly useless, as it doesn't account for the average distance traveled per country.

      Not necessarily useless, just the answer to a different question. You are focused on "how safe are the roads?" but this chart is about "how safe are the people?".
      Driving less is as valid a means of reducing risk of road fatality as making safer roads. Maybe if the US had better public transportation and less urban sprawl there would be fewer traffic fatalities.

    • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @03:33PM (#44646483)

      For example, the US rate of 1.1 per 100M miles

      Interestingly, if you hop in your car and drive a mile to buy a Powerball lottery ticket, you are more likely to be killed in a wreck than to win the jackpot.

  • "Shocking"? No.
    "Grisly"? No.
    "Informative"? Yes.

    Hyperbole aside, it's pretty interesting, but the summary implied it would show the location of every traffic death, not just the results of a global poll.

  • Even the high of around 40 deaths per 100k (Dominican Republic) is not THAT much more than the U.S.. Only 4x as much? I would have guessed it to be much, much worse based on experiencing driving in other countries.

    Far from raising the issue to crisis level I'm more including to say that is not an issue worth paying any attention to whatsoever, it's a matter for local solutions, not the U.N. What are they going to do, put crossing guards at every intersection in Bangladesh? Hope they ship out coffins al

  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @02:49PM (#44645973)

    We'll continue to spend a metric assload of money on anti-terrrererserm instead of improving driver safety and training because "us vs. them" makes a much sexier political selling point than "us vs. some-not-easily-definable-abstract-thing" that's astronomically more likely to be a fatal danger to us.

    And, really, that says as much about us as it does about the maligned policy makers we elect.

  • It would have been really cool (and morbid) if it did show every road death on earth, but all it does is provide aggregate numbers for most countries and presumably for just some recent period of time (in the past few years or so). This is a completely misleading slashdot subject line.... damn moderators.

    gus

  • Honestly, in many cases the rankings / ranges are the opposite what I assumed. Considering the US is recognized as having a high number of car-drivers (perhaps too many) and low number of public-transportation-users (perhaps too few)... I assumed we'd be way up there just due to us constantly driving into eachother.

    Not that we're particularly low, but we're a lot less than some countries I would assume would have less than us (per capita)

    • by prefec2 (875483)

      Did you miss something? Europe has only 1/2 to 1/3 of accidents per 100000 compared to the US.

      • Did you miss my last sentence? I said we're not particularly low but we're less than some countries that I would assume we'd have more than

        Middle East
        Most of South America
        Russia
        Most of Eastern Europe (Poland and such)

        Places where I'd imagine they have fewer cars per capita, or at least spend fewer hours per day in a car.

    • by tompaulco (629533)

      Honestly, in many cases the rankings / ranges are the opposite what I assumed. Considering the US is recognized as having a high number of car-drivers (perhaps too many) and low number of public-transportation-users (perhaps too few)... I assumed we'd be way up there just due to us constantly driving into eachother.

      Not that we're particularly low, but we're a lot less than some countries I would assume would have less than us (per capita)

      Well, substandard driver training and reasonably enforced rules is still safer than no driver training and no rules.

  • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @03:05PM (#44646145)

    Nevermind that you lost your legs. For example, the number of serious injuries that don't result in death would be extremely high for countries where everyone drives a scooter. Why do we only count death for these statistics?

    • Nevermind that you lost your legs. For example, the number of serious injuries that don't result in death would be extremely high for countries where everyone drives a scooter. Why do we only count death for these statistics?

      I'm not saying I agree with their logic, but I would IMAGINE it's because then the results get a little fuzzy.

      What constitutes as a serious injury vs a a non-serious injury? Where do you draw the line?
      Loss of limb? Paralysis? Coma / Vegetative state? Concussion? Cracked skull? Broken wrist? Chipped tooth? Stitches?

      How non-serious do we count?
      If we say non-serious accidents = X, then we're missing all of the really really minor accidents

      With death... at least there's a somewhat common accepted standard

      • by Russ1642 (1087959)

        Well, in countries with poor healthcare the number of deaths can be far greater even if the number and severity of the crashes is the same. So counting only deaths doesn't make it a common standard at all.

        • But deaths would be easy to count and lookup.

          Some countries might not even both recording car-accidents-involving-coma, others would. Some might not even mention loss-of-limb. So comparing country A (which counts both of those) with country B (that counts neither) throws things off.

          Others might just say "minor injury" or "major injury" but have greatly differing definitions of minor vs major.

          Meanwhile, I'd imagine it's a LOT more common that everyone records and reports "death" So at least you're compar

  • by drunken_boxer777 (985820) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @03:41PM (#44646567)

    From TFA:

    In a surprising number of countries, not knowing how to drive is no hindrance to obtaining a driver’s license or getting behind the wheel. In Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Commission only recently made it compulsory for new drivers to take driving lessons and pass a test before obtaining a license; in the past you could simply buy a license.

    The free market at work!

  • the latency on this thing is terrible. I just tested it out with a quick drive through the local playground, and it took half an hour to update the map.
  • by Whatsisname (891214) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:43PM (#44648057) Homepage

    Map is disappointing. Whomever decided that color scheme should be slapped.

    I was expecting something like this: http://map.itoworld.com/road-casualties-usa [itoworld.com] but for all countries.

    The map linked has every traffic fatality in the United States, and the age, sex, and classification of each death.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:19PM (#44648463)

    They could have just listed the fatality rates of the different countries; or provided a color-coded list.

    For it to be useful as a map; it should be more granular, than merely painting every country the same color..... it should show fatality rates for states, provinces, counties, cities, and individual streets. Now that would make sense as a map.

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