Texas road-rage accidents dashboard

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.

For example, a little more than half of Texas drivers involved in road-rage crashes are age 31 and under. The tipping age for the San Antonio metro area appears to be slightly higher. Interestingly, the midpoint for whites statewide is age 38.

Road-rage crashes - ages

LEFT: age 32 and under, RIGHT: over age 32

The worst period is evening rush hour, from 5-7 p.m. In San Antonio, the couple of hours after bars close draws the second highest number of road-rage accidents. But throughout Texas, morning drives and even the two hours surrounding lunch are the second and third most heated times.

Road-rage crashes - time periods

LEFT: 2-4 a.m., RIGHT: 5-7 p.m.

Friday is the mostly likely day for such crashes. But next in line is Thursday, not Saturday as I thought. Saturday is third, followed by Monday.

Notes about the data

Databases are limited by their structure, tools to access them and how information was entered, or not entered.

Out of more than 5,500 rows in this database, about one in seven does not map.  Other columns also include blanks and unknowns, which becomes more problematic when layering filters as this dashboard does. Additionally, the Fusion Table API is limited when it comes to applying SQL to create data ranges.

I focused on data that gets mapped, and combined blanks and unknowns as filter options. But you can’t filter something like, say ages, while at the same time including unknown ages – the slider toggles out unknowns as soon as you move a handle.

Something else databases don’t do well is tell a story in human terms. Express-News reporter John Tedesco does a great job of that here.


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