Rail Fatalities

Rail Fatalities

Monthly data, not seasonally adjusted

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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 2002-2006 there was an average of 53 deaths per month, and the five-year period of 2007-2011 had an average of 49 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 22 per month in the 2002-2006 period to 14 per month in the 2007-2011 period.

Over the ten-year period of 2002-2011, 72% of all rail-related fatalities (including public highway crossings) were trespassers.

Rail Fatalities Jun-11 Jun-12
Rail Fatalities (excluding highway vehicles at public crossings) 50 60
Percent change from same month previous year -19.4 20.0

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 October 2012.