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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: cars

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

August 20, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Seattle among cities that dominate U.S. electric vehicle sales

Click to enlarge Been noticing a lot of Leafs and Teslas around town lately?  New data reveal what you may have already guessed — Seattle-area drivers are electric car overachievers. According to a report from automotive data giant R. L. Polk, Seattle is one of five metro areas that dominate the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) market. Polk analyzed…


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: automobiles, cars, environment

July 3, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Is car culture coming to an end in Seattle?

From the heyday of car culture: the Ford Seattle-ite XXI, introduced at the 1962 World's Fair (Photo: University of Washington Libraries Special Collections)

From the heyday of car culture: The Ford Seattle-ite XXI concept car, displayed at the 1962 World’s Fair (Photo: UW Libraries Special Collections)

America’s love affair with the automobile may have finally hit a dead end, according to a recent article in The New York Times.  It’s a bold claim, but the data back it up.

The number of miles driven in the United States peaked in 2005 and has been steadily declining since.

In particular, younger people have turned their backs on the car.  They are much less likely to get a driver’s license than previous generations, and they don’t romanticize automobiles in the way that their parents did.  Their love affair is with smart phones, not cars.

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Is there evidence of this trend at the local level?


Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: automobiles, cars, transit

May 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Report: Gun deaths outpace motor vehicle deaths in Washington

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Click to enlarge (Source: Violence Policy Center)

Washington is among 12 states, along with the District of Columbia, where deaths from firearms outnumber deaths from motor vehicles, according to a report from the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C.  In 2010, there were 609 gun deaths compared with 554 motor-vehicle deaths in the state.

The numbers for firearms deaths include accidents, suicides, and legal interventions in addition to homicides (according to CDC data, most of Washington’s gun deaths were suicides–464 of the 609 fatalities).

Nationally, motor-vehicle deaths still outpace gun deaths.  However, the gap between the two numbers has been narrowing; since 1999, motor-vehicle deaths have declined by 20 percent while firearm deaths have jumped by 10 percent.

The other states with more gun deaths than motor vehicle deaths are: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia (see table below for data; columns are sortable by clicking on the heading).


Comments | More in Reports | Topics: cars, firearms, guns

November 5, 2012 at 6:00 AM

What drives Republicans and Democrats? Winnebagos and Smart Cars

Veer to the right in your Winnebago…

Now that Washington is on a mail-in ballot system, none of us will be driving to the polls tomorrow.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t vote with our cars.  In fact, we kind of do already.

Washington State Republicans and Democrats have strong preferences when it comes to their choice of cars, just as they do with their choice of candidates.  This really isn’t surprising, because the cars we drive can say a lot about who we are.  Think about it: when you see someone behind the wheel of a Hummer or a hybrid, you probably make certain assumptions about the driver.

Now I’m not suggesting that car choice is a predictor of a person’s politics.  But the data show that certain cars do in fact have a stronger appeal to either Republicans or Democrats.  And on the eve of this high-stakes election, with passions and anxieties running high, I thought it would be a fun diversion to take a look at what Republicans and Democrats like to drive most.


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: cars, Politics, Washington State