When are drivers likely to lose their cool, to the point of rage?
I figured the hours after bars closed on weekends were the hot times. But that’s not true, according to a state road-rage database obtained by the Express-News.
I put together an online dashboard to query the database, which is hosted as a Google Fusion Table. It’s a great way to get a quick snapshot of layered filters, such as age, gender, ethnicity, days, times, etc.
Try it out below. For convenient side-by-side comparisons, click the “Compare Two Views” button under the dashboard.
I gleaned a few interesting insights myself.
Automobiles Commuting Data visualizations Oil and gas prices Travel
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With wild swings in gas prices pushing ever higher, U.S. drivers are slowly curbing their habits.
Regular-grade gas averaged more than $3.60 a gallon nationwide in 2011 and 2012. It’s never been so high, even when adjusted for inflation. The last records were set during the Iran hostage crisis three decades ago.
High prices, along with recessions, have tugged at America’s driving addiction, bringing down mileage in 1979 and again in recent years. But unlike gas prices, which can arc 40 percent in a year, driving habits die hard.
The difference jumps out when you juxtapose the data in a graphic. Mashing data like this can sometimes be confusing when you have two separate axes, but I think there’s an interesting pattern here.
If you’re in Texas, odds are you’re paying more for car insurance than the average U.S. driver, says a survey by Insure.com.
I ran the survey’s data through Google Fusion Tables to see a bigger picture, and it turns out costs are as varied as the nation’s landscape itself. In particular, extreme highs touch all three coasts as well as the Canadian and Mexican borders.
Hover over states to see average costs. The darker the shade, the higher the cost.
Reasons for the undulating costs are, literally, all over the map, from claim-happy and disaster-prone Louisiana and bumper-to-bumper traffic in Georgia, to slow-poke drivers in Iowa and strict teen-driving laws in Maine, according to Insure.com.
The survey looked at 2013 cars and settled on a typical guy with a clean record and good credit. Texas rolled in at $1,545, ranking 19th overall.
Texas joined 19 other states and D.C. to rank higher than the $1,510 national average. Louisiana tops the list with $2,699. Maine sits at the bottom with $934.
Here are the top 10. Again, use hover to see dollars. The full table’s here.
San Antonio commuters spend an average of 23 and a half minutes getting to work, the latest federal data show.
Nothing shattering. In fact, it’s about two minutes less than the national average.
But what surprises me are some of the zip codes with the longest commutes.
Before seeing the U.S. Census data mapped out recently by a team at WNYC in New York, I figured commuters with the longest slogs tended to live in areas swaddling Loop 1604 on the North Side and exurbs like Boerne and New Braunfels.
In the map above, the beleaguered U.S. 281 corridor shows up as expected. But South Loop 1604 looks worse than its northern leg. And look at the bruised ring of satellites to the west and south.
A concentration of jobs on the North Side, along Loop 1604 and interstates 35 and 10, is likely sucking in many of these commuters from counties on all sides. The pull is stronger and wider than than I had realized.
You can hover over zip codes to see average commute times. You can also slide the map to see other cities, and zoom out to see other states. Here’s a full-page version.
Note that these stats include transit, walking and bicycling. But in a car town like San Antonio, despite volatile gas prices the past five years, nine out of 10 people still drive or carpool to work. Here’s a breakdown.
A recent study laid out what I found to be an amazing stat.
For every hour driving, U.S. life expectancy decreases by 20 minutes, suggests analysis in a University of Toronto study. The shorter life spans are due to crashes.
An hour a day is about the average two-way San Antonio commute. So the typical driver here loses four days a year, about half a year over a 40-year career. The payoff is a year and a half slogging through traffic to make the bucks.
The finding that drivers lose a minute of life for every three minutes on the road wasn’t even the main point of the study. Authors wanted to consider the risks of driving faster to reduce travel times. They determined that time saved by speeding is far outweighed by shortened lives due to higher chances of crashing.
The conclusion: Americans drive a little too fast and can live longer by driving slower.
Automobiles History Passenger rail Railroads Roads Travel: Corpus Christi
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A wee trip to the coast, a fine way to spend a hot and hazy Sunday. While I’m still stuck in bachelor mode – decide to go, jump in the car and away – my wife needs, shall, we say, a little more, um, preparation. Providing my ipod is loaded and charged, I am sorted. She, on the other hand, loaded our vehicle like the old days when we were carrying a baby. Blankets, pillows, books, a lap top for heaven’s sake, towels, changes of clothes, the works. more »
I had small, jolly close to subtle, magnetic signs made for the Texas Transportation Museum’s 1924 Model T truck that simply say, “The Diva.” This is because while the old girl runs pretty well on our unimproved roads and neighboring streets, it acts out badly during show time. Oh well!
Here is a link to a set of snaps taken at the recent fourth annual Ford Model T Show here in San Antonio. It is a joint project with the local Model T club, the “T Fords of Texas,“ and sponsored by the Red McCombs Automotive group.
It was during this event that I arrived at the surprisingly conclusion that all Ts are divas. That’s why they are still here. Someone was just too crazy about each one to let it go. So far this year I have had the pleasure of touring both Medina and Caldwell Counties in this persnickety old machines and I fully understand the devotion. Now all I have to do is get the one I am looking after for future generations to run right! Having said that she did come through in spades during the Flambeau Parade, so she makes all the effort worthwhile!
Cozy, secluded and deadly. That’s how a new study portrays suburban America’s unassuming cul-de-sacs.
Because people who live in the pods don’t walk and bicycle much, according to research by a University of British Columbia professor. The swirling, disconnected streets don’t allow short trips to a whole lot of places.
Look at the maps above. They show all paths within one kilometer of a selected spot in each of two Seattle neighborhoods; one constricted by meandering streets and the other splayed open by a connected grid.
People who live in the networked neighborhoods travel 26 percent fewer miles by car than those who ensconce themselves in the spaghetti-and-pod burbs.
And, studies by the author, Lawrence Frank, and others show, people who live in neighborhoods that are more walkable tend to, well, walk more. And bike more. That means, per capita, their body mass indexes are lower and they breathe cleaner air.
The New York International Auto Show has been offering up plenty of glam and muscle to hog the spotlight since last week.
“Give us sports cars and make them sexy as hell,” MSN’s Matthew de Paula declared. “We want 10-mile-per-gallon Lamborghini Gallardos and 510-horsepower Aston Martins all the way.”
It’s a lot to digest, sort of like trying to eat your way into a bargain at an all-you-can eat buffet.
I guess that’s why my thoughts keep drifting back to a more meat-and-potatoes Top Picks announced just before the noise revved up in New York. Using affordability, comfort and safety as criteria, AAA selected the best cars to commute to work in.
And topping AAA’s list is the …
Automobiles Bicycles Commuting Roads Toll roads Transit Travel
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This is somewhat obscure but while searching through papers for the upcoming tax adventure, I happened upon the original sales document for my 2005 Dodge Caravan which I purchased exactly four years ago to the day, March 28, 2006. Since then I have added 69,271 miles to its already high one year total of 28,702 – it was probably a rental that maxed out early – making a grand total, as of today, of 97,973. more »