There is visualization in practice and there is visualization in theory and research. Each should inform the other, but it typically doesn’t happen that way. Kennedy Elliot, a graphics editor at the Washington Post, provides a rundown of one branch from the research side of things: human perception. There are quite a few studies.
Human perception for visualization
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Fatal Traffic, When and Where
These are the traffic crashes that resulted in deaths in 2015, categorized by month, time of day, and factors involved.