Tuesday, January 05, 2010

More on recklessness

Here's more evidence that southern whites are more reckless than white northerners. The map (CDC data) shows motor vehicle mortality rates for people living in non-metropolitan areas. The North/South divide is even clearer here than with fatal firearm accidents. It's striking, given that northerners experience much worse weather conditions.


  1. If they're having more wrecks, how can they be more reckless?

  2. Anonymous12:14 PM

    The strange thing to me is that many southern states have a substantial portion of northerners who have moved there. I wonder if northerners are just more likely to take public transit and just have fewer opportunities to get in wrecks. There aren't too many whites on public transit in the south.

  3. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Notice how Florida leaps way ahead versus where it is for firearms (more so, I think from a cursory glance, than any other state). My guess? Old people.

  4. Back in the late 1970s, it was legal to drink a beer while driving in Texas. Drive-in liquor stores were common in Fort Worth.

  5. Anonymous6:52 AM

    "Drive-in liquor stores were common in Fort Worth."

    That is really just because Dallas county was dry. People just drove over to Fort Worth to buy booze and went straight home.

  6. Is this mortality rates for rural "people" or for rural whites? There are lots of rural blacks in the South.

    It makes no difference to your point. I did the calculation for whites-only, and the results are the same. But you might want to correct anyway.

    It would also be good to mention population density and miles driven. Wyoming (and similar) likely have high rates because everything is spread out and rural types drive more miles/year and at higher speeds, and neither of these differences are rightly called reckless --- it's just an acceptable and reasonable risk if you live there. Rural PA or NY just aren't anywhere near as rural as rural WY or NV.

    Really great post, by the way.

    There is a great book called *Lattitudes and Attitudes* which shows differences in consumption patterns in the US for all kinds of products. The lesson of that book is that the South is a different country. My favorite graph was of mouthwash use and dental floss use per capita by state. Southerners love mouthwash and Northeasterners love dental floss.


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