We’ve mentioned before about how much data we, as a species, seem to be collecting these days. There’s data out there for just about everything you can imagine from Mozart to movies.

This week we were back on one of our favorite sites, FlowingData.com, and got caught up in all of the data surrounding a topic that, while decidedly macabre, is nevertheless on everyone’s mind every now and then.

Lock the doors, bolt the windows and gather your courage because this week we’re looking at just what a dangerous place the world can be.

How likely am I to get injured by cardboard in February?

The answer is “much less than in October.”  This first visualization by Nathan Yau takes a look at data from the Consumer Product Safety commission. This organization finds out just how many emergency room visits were related to certain consumer products and at which time of the year. Yau pulled the data and placed it in a stunning visualization that plots the number of hospital visits for each category by occurrence and month.

accident data visualization
The floor: mankind’s most constant, efficient predator

Some correlations were easy to see and even easier to understand. There were very few snowmobile accidents reported in July, nor are waterslides overly dangerous in January.

However, there are a number of products that are consistently dangerous no matter what time of year it is. Generally speaking floors and stairs are out to get us whilst tables and bathtubs are decidedly more benign but still more deadly than window frames.

Most puzzling however is the spike in cardboard related injuries in October. Who would have imagined that boxes of Halloween candy could be so precarious.

Give it to me straight- how long have I got left?

Using data from the Social Security Administration, Yau created a visualization that calculates the possibility you’ll make it your next birthday and every subsequent birthday after that, factoring in national averages.

aging data visualization
New goal: mess with the curve and break 110

There is something decidedly sobering about seeing where you are on a timeline of life expectancy. Apart from the existential awakening to one’s own mortality the most interesting part of this visualization is fiddling with the parameters and seeing how greatly they affect the probabilities.

But, as eternal optimists, we left these visualizations on a high note: our time is precious, so we should make the most out of every minute we have. Who knows when the floor or an errant piece of cardboard will finally catch up with us.

Until next time stay safe out there,

The VisualCrew