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!


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend