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PSMF_Canuck t1_jaynpai wrote

There was a space accident where 300 people died…?


databeautifier OP t1_jaypq39 wrote

The source (Wikipedia) categorizes the "Nedelin catastrophe" that way since a rocket exploded before launch and up to 300 people died. I go into more detail in this comment:


PSMF_Canuck t1_jayqd21 wrote

Wow. TIL. Ok, that makes sense, and personally I’m fine with space rocket blowing up on the ground as counting as a space death.


Nervous-Dark-4559 t1_jb0gedy wrote

But on this argument, what about thoes hit by meteorites?

honestly, this should be in the "accident" category


iiSpook t1_jb0kby6 wrote

If you're going to be this pedantic you're going to have to find out how many of those "aviation" deaths weren't actively flying at the time as well. I think it's perfectly fine to categorize accidents with vehicles that were specifically meant to go to space as space-related accidents.


DavidBrooker t1_jb1c3fl wrote

I believe the deadliest aviation disaster listed here in the above post was mostly on the ground: a KLM 747 was taking off and was only a few feet off the ground when it crashed into a Pan Am 747 that was taxiing across the runway. About six hundred people died, the Tenerife airport disaster.


PCPooPooRace_JK t1_jb0nz10 wrote

It doesnt sit right though. Aviation is a bit less ambigious than space which suggests it involved space.


iiSpook t1_jb0pu8j wrote

How far off the ground does a literal space rocket have to go to be considered a space-related accident then? I think Aviation is actually even more ambiguous because it could contain space travel as well as "normal" planes and all other forms of flight. Lists of spaceflight-related accidents even include training accidents. Would you say the Challenger disaster wasn't an accident that would fall into the "space" category?

As I said, extremely pedantic.


Commercial-9751 t1_jb0qy0x wrote

That number actually does include those killed by meteorites as the number is 0.


ArkGuardian t1_jb13chu wrote

No one has verifiably been killed by meteors in the last century at least. And sources before that are dubious. Why did you even bring this up?


ar243 t1_jaykaj8 wrote

This infographic is misleading.

Comparing the worst event of a particular category to the summation of all events in another is not a good comparison at all, and is misleading.

A better comparison would be to compare the worst car crash in history to the worst tornado in history.

Or, if you want to continue using running totals, just use the total number of tornado deaths in 2022 compared to the total number of automotive deaths in 2022.


kompootor t1_jayy21o wrote

The title and thesis of the infographic are, to me, clear: that the number of annual automotive traffic deaths exceeds the largest amount of deaths of ever from a single disaster event in each category.

Though perhaps, now that the issue is raised, it would be more poignant to take something like the worst year of the deaths for each category, instead of the worst single event; the only one of the list I'd expect to get markedly worse from this amendment would be flooding, but it would pre-empt this possible objection. You could, if you like, denote the difference between the worst single event and other events that year with a slightly different color shade in the same box area.


ar243 t1_jb1h8ge wrote

Numerous people in the comments section have already made the mistake of thinking all the sections are based on last year's figures. And if that were the case it would paint natural disasters in a far worse light compared to cara... Which is why it's misleading.


databeautifier OP t1_jayoiqm wrote

I agree that comparing single events to the summation of all events over a time period can be misleading, but I don't think that's the case with this post because I called that difference out in four places: the post title, the all-red title text of the visualization, bold text in a box around the traffic deaths, and my first comment here.

The other comparisons you mention are of course valid, but I think this kind of comparison is valid too provided the different time scales are prominently called out.


asyrin25 t1_jaz2rx0 wrote

I agree with the post you're responding to.

A misleading info graphic that explains that it's misleading is still misleading.

Putting these events together in a visualization is suggesting to your consumer that they're comparable, even if you point out why they're not in four different places.

A zoomed in line graph that grossly overestimates changes in the Y axis is still misleading even if the Y axis is clearly labeled. Even if the title of the graph is "Zoomed in Line Graph"


SecurelyObscure t1_jb01ktv wrote

Agreed. This is the "vending machines kill more than sharks" version of road deaths.

It's true, sure, but the critical aspect of the whole thing is the number of people being exposed to the threat.


ar243 t1_jb1hx8n wrote

And don't forget time exposed.

Most people spend ~31,000 minutes (2 hour total commute, 5 days a week) in a car in one year.

Most people spend 0 minutes per year in a natural disaster.

Not only that, but cars are extremely useful, natural disasters are not.


[deleted] t1_jazysym wrote



ar243 t1_jazznaq wrote

Think of it this way: Would you compare all tornado deaths in 2022 to the worst hurricane of all time? Probably not, because that's a bad way to compare two things.

Also, a car is much, much, MUCH less dangerous than any of these. Would you rather spend five minutes in a flood or five minutes in a car? The only reason cars are so high is because we spend 100,000x more time in a car than we do in an active natural disaster. Not to mention cars benefit us by transporting us, while there aren't a whole lot of upsides to natural disasters.

Also, you are awfully rude.


CesarMdezMnz t1_jazwhur wrote

I think you're missing the point.

It compares one year of traffic deaths vs. all time of any other disaster to put in real perspective how many people die in traffic.


soundisloud t1_jb06hkn wrote

It's not though. That's also what I thought at first. It compares one year of traffic deaths vs. the single deadliest event of each other disaster. So the single worst plane crash, or single worst flood. It's a confusing comparison.


CesarMdezMnz t1_jb2pokk wrote

Yeah, but not a single traffic accident makes it to the news when it happens, like an aeroplane crash or a natural disaster.

However, more people die in traffic every year than in any other accident/disasters combined together over time.


ar243 t1_jazxr8a wrote

I understand the point, and using an apples to oranges comparison is disingenuous.


BOCketchup t1_jayyeuc wrote

I like this infographic and found it thought provoking. Some other people just can’t help but to find something to complain about.


ar243 t1_jb00ix9 wrote

It's a good graphic visually, but the data comparison had too much cherry picking for it to be a good infographic overall.

And the fact that it's about a very hot topic debate (at least within Reddit, where users typically have a very hostile aggressive stance towards car ownership) just makes me think it's pushing an agenda at the cost of accuracy.


Strange_Ad_6206 t1_jb23hcq wrote

It's comparing data gathered through WHO research (traffic fatalities) with sampling obtained through Wikipedia's list articles. These include mostly incidents significant enough to have their own article.

A less manipulative comparison would be with Wikipedia's list of road accidents.

Also, flood contains one huge outlier in the 1931 China floods in which deaths from subsequent famine and epidemics are included, increasing the number of fatalities from ~150,000 to 4 million, and that is just one example.


ar243 t1_jb26smq wrote

The problem is that OP is comparing two different things.

One is the sum of all deaths year round, the other is a single event that lasts for a few hours to a few days at most.

The other problem is exposure. Most people drive every day, but most people aren't in a natural disaster every day.

It's just a bad way to compare data.


denisrennes t1_jazzc3l wrote

For the Nuclear accident, is it Chernobyl? If yes, could you provide the source you used ? (because there are many different sources for Chernobyl deaths)

What about dam failures? That's different from a natural flood, right? (240 000 deaths for the 1975 Banqiao dams accident)


joker_wcy t1_jb02lb5 wrote

According to other comment by op, they counted Banqiao dams accident as structural collapse.


databeautifier OP t1_jb14bb9 wrote

Correct. However, I've just realized thanks to the link from u/denisrennes that the 1975 Banqiao Dam failure article gives an upper estimate of 240,000 deaths while the List of Accidents and Disasters by Death Toll page listed a single 171,000 figure. I use the past tense here because I just edited the page with a correction.

Regardless, the visualization rounds all figures (as stated in the image and my top-level comment) so both 171,000 and 240,000 would result in the same 2 squares being shown.


tremynci t1_jb0an01 wrote

Looks like the 1957 Mayak disaster.


denisrennes t1_jb0d5ac wrote

Possible but difficult to say because the figures were hidden by the USSR at the time. However, some of the figures given for Chernobyl by some sources seem closer.


tremynci t1_jb0gj4d wrote

Sorry, neighbor, I wasn't clear: the deadliest radiation disaster listed in the Wikipedia list OP used as a source is the 1957 Mayak storage tank explosion. Chernobyl is third on that list


databeautifier OP t1_jb13egb wrote

u/tremynci is correct: the source (listed in the visualization and my top-level comment) has the 1957 Mayak nuclear waste storage tank explosion as the all-time deadliest nuclear disaster with 200-6,000 deaths. I took the high end of this estimate (also mentioned in the visualization and my top-level comment).

Chernobyl is listed by the source as having a high end estimate of "4000+" with the note:

>Far higher death toll estimates have been made, but are disputed.

I took the Mayak disaster rather than going with disputed figures.


v-r-s t1_jayki15 wrote

A typhoon, hurricane and cyclone are the exact same thing. Also theres a massive intersect between those three and the statistics between flood/tornado deaths.

How are we counting the data between hurricanes and floods when both aren’t mutually exclusive and several Atlantic hurricanes death toll are significantly higher to disprove that abysmally low hurricane statistic (i.e. Hurricane Mitch).


ar243 t1_jaykwxm wrote

Yeah, the worst hurricane had ~10k deaths. The chart only shows 2k.

There are already a lot of comments pointing out the flaws in this infographic, and it seems like OP let an agenda get in the way of using accurate information.


databeautifier OP t1_jaynmd6 wrote

TIL a typhoon, hurricane and cyclone are the same thing! I was just going off the sources cited in the visualization and my first post which draw a distinction between them. Sorry for any confusion.


iiSpook t1_jb0mabm wrote

They are distinguished by the location they are formed at. It's like calling a meteorite and an asteroid the same thing. Well, yes, technically they are but we (as in actual smart people) decided it was worth making a distinction between them.


mrpickles t1_jb01jrq wrote

Doesn't tornado = cyclone ?


Pademelon1 t1_jb02mcb wrote

Tornados are sometimes referred to as cyclones, but that is an incorrect usage. True cyclones are similar to Hurricanes, except they form in a different region, and rotate a different direction.


Wild-Mushroom2404 t1_jazib43 wrote

What the hell happened in that elevator??


UndefinedSuperhero t1_jazjhex wrote

Mining elevator taken out by a locomotive and plunged over 400m - 104 miners killed. Scary shit.


LazerWolfe53 t1_jb0kbaj wrote

The elevator was already 1,676 meters deep when it fell 400m. Holy cow, that's a crazy tall elevator


Commercial-9751 t1_jb0rgr1 wrote

So really rough math says it would have taken 9 seconds to fall that far which must have been absolutely horrifying.


arrig-ananas t1_jb0966g wrote

Interesting graph, but my brain can't really comprehend the exponential growth in the colors so maybe try another depiction.

Also it would be fun see smoking on there (knows it another kind of killer, but just for putting in perspective what kills us)


databeautifier OP t1_jb122sb wrote

Thanks for the idea for comparing against smoking! I just may create a comparison for that in the future. :)

Depicting the exponential growth was definitely the hardest challenge of this visualization for me. I didn't want to just use a logarithmic bar/column chart because I find them boring and that people don't really understand them visually, so I opted to try something less conventional. I remembered this style of chart from somewhere and tried to at least hint at the increasing values (besides the explicit legend) with a red gradient and increasingly larger { brackets on the left. Any tips for how I could show this better? I'm pretty new to data visualization and am looking to learn.


dillrepair t1_jb0pjmj wrote

I try to explain this to people all the time…. That by the overall numbers the roads are the death zone. Everything else we do is far less risky overall… simply because of the amount of time we spend in cars. Like for example cutting some trees down is dangerous for sure, especially in those moments when you may climb the trees to cut limbs etc, but those dangers are controllable for the most part and the time conducting those activities is limited for most people. It’s why I absolutely cannot stand people talking about vaccines or other overall health promoting behaviors being dangerous in any way. They are not. Look at the odds, you were way way more likely from an overall perspective to die on your way to getting vaccinated or even on your way to going snowboarding or something like that than from the actual activity itself.


databeautifier OP t1_jayg7cm wrote


I wanted to put annual traffic deaths into the context of other accidents and disasters. For example, the all-time worst aviation disaster caused 583 deaths which is a little less than 3.8 hours of average global traffic deaths. The range of values is huge and I didn't want to simply use a logarithmic scale on a bar chart, so I used this style which I've seen elsewhere on the sub a few times. If anyone knows what this kind of visualization is called, please let me know.


All death counts rounded to nearest square.

When sources state a range, the maximum deaths are used.




Libertuslp t1_jb0xtqs wrote

Yeah we should use less floods


Crotean t1_jb154iv wrote

The most dangerous thing we all do in our lives is drive and most people still continue to have no respect for driving a couple of ton metal missile around. We need to bring back the car accident footage during drivers training and remind people there are consequences to this shit.


rjwilson01 t1_jayjui9 wrote

As at 2022, there have been over 188 fatalities in incidents regarding spaceflight. So that one seems off since you seem to be saying it's single incidents


databeautifier OP t1_jaypfgq wrote

The source (cited in my first comment here) lists the "Nedelin catastrophe" of 1960 as the deadliest in the "space" category with a range of 54-300 deaths. As noted in the visualization and my first comment here, I rounded up to the maximum deaths in cases where a range like this were given.

I can see a perspective where this doesn't count as a space accident/disaster because it occurred on the ground before the rocket was launched, but the source categorizes it that way. All the other accidents/disasters in the list also occurred on the ground or in the air below space except for one: Soyuz 11 where three people died due to depressurization in space. I just decided to go with the source's categorization since they all took place as part of spaceflight operations.


TheOneNeartheTop t1_jaywylv wrote

No way a structural collapse caused 200k deaths unless it was a dam. In which case it would be a flood.

Edit: Its also disingenuous to say 4 million people died from a flood when it’s the total potential deaths from starvation, cholera, etc for years after.


databeautifier OP t1_jayxv1u wrote

Per the source, it actually was the failure of Banqiao Dam in 1975 and includes deaths due to subsequent diseases and hunger in addition to the initial flood. I can see the perspective that it should be categorized as a flood since it did include one, but the cause was a structural collapse and I put it in the visualization as one because the source (Wikipedia) categorized it that way.


Lente_ui t1_jb029j0 wrote

Still no where near the 4 million in the graph. The largest estimate, made by the Discovery channel, was 240,000. Including subsequent deaths by famine and disease.
I don't think the Discovery channel's the ultimate 10 show is the most credible of sources.

I think this is the flood OP's chart is referring to: The 1931 Yangtze-Huang river floods. With an official death toll of 422,420 people. It has nothing to do with the 1975 Banqiao dam break.

>Some Western sources allege that the death toll was between 3.7 and 4 million people based on their own claims of famine and disease.[15][6]

Source [15] is a website with a tiny article. In that article it says:

>in 1931 the death toll was almost four million,

With absolutely nothing to back it up. No sources, nothing. They're just spouting out a number. I don't find this credible at all.

Source [6] refers to a book. This book is about climate. I can't find out which number it claims without buying it. I doubt a 2003 book about climate contains first hand research into a 1931 disaster. It likely quotes another source.

I'm inclined to believe the official death toll over the 70+ year after the fact 'estimates' without any substantial research behind their claims.


johrnjohrn t1_jb16tas wrote

Thanks for commenting on the flood. I was googling like crazy to figure out how tf 4 million people died in one flood. Your context helped.


ar243 t1_jb00onb wrote

OP, I am curious to know which tools you used for the infographic.

Data and story aside, the visuals are really nice.


Nervous-Dark-4559 t1_jb0g7jy wrote

Ohhh, wait a few more years until the glaciers melt.... even more...


VelcroSea t1_jb0iat1 wrote

Unique display, good use of color and gradients. Communication very clear and intuitive.

Really got people discussing nuances right away which I think is a great measure of success.

Nicely done!


IThrewThisOneAwayToo t1_jb0kvup wrote

Hello! Food Safety specialist and sanitarian here. I can assure you there were plenty more food borne illness related deaths but they’re often mistaken for other illnesses or go unreported. The death toll estimated by the FDA and CDC is closer to around 3,000 deaths per year from food borne illnesses.


databeautifier OP t1_jb0zuua wrote

Hi! Thanks for sharing! In case you're wondering, the source lists the 2017–18 South African listeriosis outbreak as the deadliest of all time with 218 deaths, which I rounded down to 200.


IThrewThisOneAwayToo t1_jb115sf wrote

Your visualization of the data is supported by the facts listed in your source for sure! Great job on it.

The point I’m trying to make is that most foodborne illnesses go unreported and the death toll is much higher than reported.

Let’s take that listeriosis source for example. Listeria has symptoms that very closely reflect a bad flu. And the onset time can be up to two weeks after ingestion. So I’d be willing to bet a lot of people just thought they had a bad flu when they became sick.


Majestic_Food_4190 t1_jb0oa3c wrote

Is there overlap between earthquake and flooding? Flooding the earthquake in Japan caused flooding?


databeautifier OP t1_jb0zemt wrote

The source categorizes them separately and I followed that categorization. The deadliest earthquake was the 1976 Tanghan earthquake and it does mention that some coal mines flooded but doesn't say how many deaths this accounted for out of the total figure of 655,000. The 2011 Japan earthquake caused 19,759 deaths but also doesn't break down deaths due to flooding. I'm sure there's an overlap between them, but I don't have the data to show that it would make a big enough difference to change the all-time deadliest in each category.


Norville_Rogers__ t1_jb0qwil wrote

These numbers are incorrect. For Maritime, it states 4,000 People have died overall. Even if it was for the deadliest Maritime disaster, the number is still incorrect, since it is estimated that over 9,000 people lost their lives in the sinking of the MV Wilhelm Gustloff.


databeautifier OP t1_jb0yetb wrote

Yes, it's for the deadliest Maritime accident. The source lists the SS Kiangya as the deadliest with an upper estimate of 3920 deaths which I used and then rounded up (see explanation in the viz and my top-level comment) to 4000. I don't think the intentional sinking of the MV Wilhelm Gustloff would count as an accident because the top of the page says:

>Purposeful disasters, such as terrorist attacks, are omitted; those events can be found at List of battles and other violent events by death toll.


PaulAspie t1_jb10l3s wrote

What structural collapse killed 200,000. There is almost no structure that can even hold that many? That's like 40-50 world trade centers.

Or is a dam failure? That would make sense but I would classify that different.


databeautifier OP t1_jb1791a wrote

Yes, the structure was the Banqiao Dam and the upper end of the death count estimate was 240,000 which includes subsequent diseases and hunger-related deaths. I followed the source's classification as a structural collapse.


mymeatpuppets t1_jb1e51o wrote

200k in a structural collapse? When?


databeautifier OP t1_jb1gg8g wrote

The structure was the Banqiao Dam in 1975 and the upper end of the death count estimate was 240,000 which includes subsequent diseases and hunger-related deaths.


mymeatpuppets t1_jb1h0xe wrote

Thank you. I've been trying to remember a huge stadium or skyscraper filled to the ceilings collapsing under the weight of everyone in it.


Lethlnjektn t1_jb2lmf2 wrote

Thank goodness for cars! This way I actually have a yard with my house instead of living in apartments or subdivision hell. Make more cars!


Vinny_d_25 t1_jb358ec wrote

I'm curious if you'd feel this way if you had to pay the actual costs associated with having that yard and the infrastructure to access it with a car. Your dream living situation is subsidized by people living in apartments. Source video below:


812warfavenue t1_jb2uthq wrote

300 deaths in a 'space' accident?


databeautifier OP t1_jb32rp7 wrote

The source (Wikipedia) categorizes the "Nedelin catastrophe" that way since a rocket exploded before launch and up to 300 people died. I go into more detail in this comment:


812warfavenue t1_jb34lql wrote

ICBM launch prep explosion = space? That's a stretch too far in my opinion. But you're the one who took the time to make a graphic about it. Thanks for taking the time.


databeautifier OP t1_jb38iha wrote

You're welcome!

I guess Wikipedia classified it this way because ICBMs travel through space on the way to their destination, but I can understand the perspective that this is too much of a stretch to count as space.


imapassenger1 t1_jazpqln wrote

Tsunami counts as earthquake I assume?


YoRt3m t1_jb072sv wrote

I would expect it to be a flood, since that's what killed most people, and it's literally in the name. but okay


imapassenger1 t1_jb3spdr wrote

I would have thought it would be its own category but put them down to earthquakes as that is what causes them. And tsunami means flood does it? OP says it's a separate category but doesn't list any.


do0fusz t1_jb00hgw wrote

Would be more interesting if it was all time accumulated like the rest of the stats


ar243 t1_jb1ezqm wrote

None are all time accumulated.


iiSpook t1_jb0o2o4 wrote

I'm pretty sure you can whip up the graph you would like to see in a few minutes by yourself.


z-trans t1_jb0bhcd wrote

Cars are really something we need to phase out or limit usage of maximise on public-mass-transport+walk+mirco-mobility.


Piticolis t1_jb0bku9 wrote

Way more people died in aircraft crashes than 600 people. Is those data taken from where?


databeautifier OP t1_jb1103o wrote

The source is cited in the visualization and my top-level comment. The all-time deadliest crash was the Tenerife airport disaster when two 747s collided on a runway killing 583 people, which I rounded up to 600 as stated in the visualization and my top-level comment.


Baracuda_15 t1_jb0e2py wrote

Would have been good to add War.


databeautifier OP t1_jb10ih2 wrote

This is an interesting idea! Perhaps I'll make another post about war, but I wanted to keep this one focused on unintentional accidents and disasters rather than mixing in intentional actions like war and terrorism.


PENNST8alum t1_jb0f2dw wrote

You sure that aviation # is in the right category? Pretty sure >600 people were in planes just on 9/11


iiSpook t1_jb0nsxt wrote

Did you look at this post for more than two seconds? OP provides sources and the source lists aviation accidents. Do you think 9/11 falls under the category of "an accident"?


PENNST8alum t1_jb0og1z wrote

To answer your question, no, I'm not digging into his sources to get to the bottom of it. Kinda defeats the point of a having a chart, let alone one that says accidents "AND DISASTERS".


iiSpook t1_jb0q7cz wrote

Damn, you really chose being a prick over clicking a single link. Took me less than thirty seconds to "dig" into the source to answer your dumb ass question.


databeautifier OP t1_jb109ju wrote

u/iiSpook is correct about why 9/11 doesn't count as a disaster according to the source's categorization. Per the top of the source page:

>Purposeful disasters, such as terrorist attacks, are omitted; those events can be found at List of battles and other violent events by death toll.


glmory t1_jb0wjre wrote

Elevators are the safest and most effective form of transportation. We should just build vertical cities.


Amekaze t1_jb0zs59 wrote

But there is nothing we can do about traffic deaths. People have to drive. /s


Spider_pig448 t1_jazsv37 wrote

Insane. Self driving cars can't come soon enough.


the-software-man t1_jb0ed25 wrote

Noah’s flood killed everyone but a dozen people? Should be bigger?


iiSpook t1_jb0n93q wrote

OMG That's soooooo true, just how we all died in 2012 when the world ended.


iiSpook t1_jb0sbti wrote

Good post.

All the flaws people point out about it just made me engage with it more and I learned things I didn't know before. Even if you take out the piece of data about traffic it was interesting to see how the worst disasters in each category compare.

And I think the point you tried to make was that even some of our worst singular disaster experiences pale in comparison to the graveyards that roads are on a continued basis. And it's not like that's new information but we often just shrug it of as part of vehicular transport when there could be so much we could do to make it safer. Something we aren't able to do with most of the grand disasters yet road safety often isn't the most pressing issue in people's minds. I personally have two changes I would like to make immediately to make roads safer, if I could.


JetstreamFox t1_jazloe9 wrote

No way that Aviation is at only 600. There has been 1977 an accident with 2 Boeing 747 on Teneriffa, where nearly 600 died.

600 single Aviation accidents in general since invention is more likely.


Gloomy-Advertising59 t1_jazpuvj wrote

Read the title. The graphic is comparing the worst single accidents (i.e. the 1977 disaster for aviation) with annual traffic deaths.


JetstreamFox t1_jazsiyb wrote

Well, ok. Should’ve taken the extra seconds for reading. Anyway I’m proud of my memory, as I hadn’t to google that accident.


soundisloud t1_jb06zv7 wrote

Really not your fault, it's a confusing graphic. Because ALL TIME and ONE YEAR are highlighted, it really sets you up to think this is comparing all aviation deaths ever.