As light dims, peril increases for Toronto pedestrians

I just posted a story on the Global Toronto site based on the pedestrian accident data we FOId back in the spring. (This database, honestly, is the gift that keeps on giving. What can you do with it?)

Looking at 10 years of pedestrian collisions by date, the data shows a clear spike in late November, peaking on November 28 and November 30.

Of the ten worst days of the year for pedestrian collisions, eight fall between November 21 and November 30. (The other two are November 2 and December 22.)

It’s a strong correlation, and the answer seems to lie in sunset falling before rush hour. After a week or so, people acclimatize.

The safest date is Christmas Day. Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Canada Day are also at the bottom of the list. (I was briefly puzzled by why February 29 was so safe, until I realized the date had only happened twice in the whole decade.)

The graphic below is in fact a screenshot of a Fusion Tables timeline. The issue was getting Fusion Tables to do a timeline of a generic year, rather than a specific year. If the year isn’t specified, it can’t be stopped from defaulting to 2011, and I never did find a solution. I put the months in in Photoshop.

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