Mystery Map of the Day

The Washington Post reports today that after declining for decades, pedestrian deaths started rising in 2010. Fatalities are now 46 percent higher than they were eight years ago and nobody really seems to know why. But here’s the real mystery:

With just a few exceptions, the deadliest states for pedestrians are all in a well-defined southern band stretching from California to Florida. What’s up with that? What does California have in common with Alabama? Or New Mexico with Florida? Or Nevada with Texas? What’s going on here?

UPDATE: The consensus seems to be that sunbelt states have a lot of pedestrian deaths because they’ve got great weather and people walk more. That seems reasonable. However, this map from FitBit suggests that the exact opposite is true:

Now, maybe all those northerners are walking in the gym or something. Who knows? But it sure looks like Southerners (a) don’t walk much and (b) get killed a lot when they do. The mystery grows!

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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