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Rail Fatalities

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Monthly data, not seasonally adjusted

Rail Fatalities

Improving safety is the top priority of the United States Department of Transportation. The number of railroad deaths (excluding public highway crossings) continues a downward trend. For the five-year period of 2003-2007 there was an average of 52 deaths per month, and the five-year period of 2008-2012 had an average of 47 deaths per month. Likewise, over the same period, efforts to improve safety and build grade separations have helped decrease fatalities at public highway grade-crossings from 21 per month in the 2003-2007 period to 13 per month in the 2008-2012 period.

Over the ten-year period of 2003-2012, 73% of all rail-related fatalities (including public highway crossings) were trespassers.

Rail Fatalities Jul-12 Jul-13
Rail Fatalities (excluding highway vehicles at public crossings) 61 63
Percent change from same month previous year + 15.1% + 3.3%

NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, rail fatalities excludes occupants of highway motor vehicles killed at public highway-rail grade crossings. Rail-highway fatalities are counted under highway fatailities in order to eliminate double-counting.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, Operational Data Tables, Tables 4.01 and 4.06, available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of December 2013.