Table 2-1: Transportation Fatalities by Mode 

Table 2-1: Transportation Fatalities by Mode

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  1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
TOTAL fatalities U U U U U U 47,347 44,320 42,032 42,810 43,558 44,527 44,798 44,444 R43,910 R44,047 R44,333 44,933 U
Air                                      
U.S. air carriera 499 261 146 124 1 526 39 l 50 33 1 239 168 380 8 1 12 92 531 P0
Commuter carrierb N N N 28 37 37 6 l 77 21 24 25 9 14 46 0 12 5 13 P0
On-demand air taxic N N N 69 105 76 51 78 68 42 63 52 63 39 45 38 71 60 33
General aviationd 787 1,029 1,310 1,252 1,239 956 767 799 867 744 730 735 636 631 624 619 R595 R562 P576
Highway, total 36,399 47,089 52,627 44,525 51,091 43,825 44,599 41,508 39,250 40,150 40,716 41,817 m 42,065 42,013 41,501 41,717 41,945 R42,196 42,815
Passenger car occupants N N N 25,929 27,449 23,212 24,092 22,385 21,387 21,566 21,997 22,423 22,505 22,199 21,194 20,862 20,699 R20,320 20,416
Motorcyclists 790 1,650 2,280 3,189 5,144 4,564 3,244 2,806 2,395 2,449 2,320 2,227 2,161 2,116 2,294 2,483 2,897 R3,197 3,244
Truck occupantse, light N N N 4,856 7,486 6,689 8,601 8,391 8,098 8,511 8,904 9,568 9,932 10,249 10,705 11,265 11,526 R11,723 12,182
Truck occupantse, large N N N 961 1,262 977 705 661 585 605 670 648 621 723 742 759 754 R708 684
Bus occupants N N N 53 46 57 32 31 28 18 18 33 21 18 38 59 22 R34 45
Pedestrians 7,210 7,990 8,950 7,516 8,070 6,808 6,482 5,801 5,549 5,649 5,489 5,584 5,449 5,321 5,228 4,939 4,763 R4,901 4,808
Pedalcyclists 490 690 760 1,003 965 890 859 843 723 816 802 833 765 814 760 754 693 R732 662
Otherf 27,909 36,759 40,637 1,018 669 628 584 590 485 536 516 501 609 573 540 596 591 R581 774
Railroadg2,345 2,533 2,225 1,492 1,417 1,036 1,297 1,194 1,170 1,279 1,226 1,146 1,039 1,063 1,008 932 937 971 951
Highway-rail grade crossing 1,421 1,610 1,440 917 833 582 698 608 579 626 615 579 488 461 431 402 425 421 P 355
Railroad 924 923 785 575 584 454 599 586 591 653 611 567 551 602 577 530 512 R550 P 596
Transit hN N N N N N 339 300 273 281 320 274 264 275 286 299 295 267 U
Waterborne, total iN N 2,016 2,039 1,847 1,377 1,051 1,010 1,006 1,009 963 975 856 959 982 888 838 820 U
Vessel-related j N N 178 243 206 131 85 30 96 114 78 51 52 50 71 R61 R49 59 P28
Not related to vessel casualtiesj N N 420 330 281 130 101 56 94 95 101 95 95 88 R96 R93 R88 80 P48
Recreational boatingk 739 1,360 1,418 1,466 1,360 1,116 865 924 816 800 784 829 709 821 815 734 701 681 U
Pipeline, total N N 30 15 19 33 9 14 15 17 22 21 53 10 20 25 38 7 11
Hazardous liquid pipeline N N 4 7 4 5 3 0 5 0 1 3 5 0 2 4 1 0 1
Gas pipeline N N 26 8 15 28 6 14 10 17 21 18 48 10 18 21 37 7 10

KEY: N = data do not exist; P = preliminary; R = revised; U = data are not available.

a Carriers operating under 14 CFR 121, all scheduled and nonscheduled service. Since Mar. 20, 1997, 14 CFR 121 include aircraft with 10 or more seats that formerly operated under 14 CFR 135. This change makes it difficult to compare pre-1997 data for 14 CFR 121 and 14 CFR 135 with more recent data.

b All scheduled service operating under 14 CFR 135 (commuter air carriers). Before Mar. 20, 1997, 14 CFR 135 applied to aircraft with 30 or fewer seats. Since Mar. 20, 1997, 14 CFR 135 includes only aircraft with fewer than 10 seats. This change makes it difficult to compare pre-1997 data for 14 CFR 121 and 14 CFR 135 with more recent data.

c Nonscheduled service operating under 14 CFR 135 (on-demand air taxis).

d All operations other than those operating under 14 CFR 121 and 14 CFR 135.

e Large trucks are defined as trucks over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, including single-unit trucks and truck tractors. Light trucks are defined as trucks of 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating or less, including pickups, vans, truck-based station wagons, and utility vehicles.

f Includes occupants of other vehicle types and other nonmotorists. For 1960-70, the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not break out fatality data to the same level of detail as in later years, so fatalities for those years also include occupants of passenger cars, trucks, and buses.

g Includes Amtrak. Highway-rail grade crossing fatalities data for 1970 and before is not comparable with data after 1970 due to change in reporting system. Fatalities include those resulting from train accidents, train incidents, and nontrain incidents. Highway-rail grade crossing fatalities are also counted under highway, except train occupants.

h Fatalities include those resulting from all reportable incidents, not just from accidents.

i Vessel-related casualties include those involving damage to vessels such as collisions or groundings. Fatalities not related to vessel casualties include deaths from falling overboard or from accidents involving onboard equipment.

j 1992-2001 data come from the Marine Safety Management Information System and 2002 data come from the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement System. Data for prior years come from other sources and may not be directly comparable.

k Data are based on information provided by the States, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. Territories to the Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) system. Research on the level of underreporting of fatal accidents in the BARD, based on discrepancies between the BARD and the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Management Information System (SARMIS), found that approximately 6 percent of recreational boating fatalities are not captured by the BARD system. Adjusting the number of recreational boating fatalities included in the BARD in 2001 by 6 percent increases the total to 722.

l U.S. air carrier figure does not include 12 persons killed aboard a commuter aircraft when it and a US Air airliner collided; commuter air carrier figure does not include 22 persons killed aboard a US Air airliner when it and a commuter aircraft collided.

m Includes 2 fatalities that have not been assigned to a specific vehicle type.

NOTES

Numbers may not add to totals because some fatalities are counted in more than one mode. To avoid double counting, the following adjustments have been made: most (not all) highway-rail grade-crossing fatalities have not been added because most (not all) such fatalities involve motor vehicles and, thus, are already included in highway fatalities; for transit, all commuter rail fatalities and motor-bus, trolley-bus, demand-responsive, and van-pool fatalities arising from accidents have been subtracted because they are counted as railroad, highway, or highway-rail grade-crossing fatalities. The reader cannot reproduce the total fatalities in this table by simply leaving out the number of highway-rail grade-crossing fatalitites in the sum and subtracting the above transit submodes, because in so doing, grade-crossing fatalities not involving motor vehicles would be left out (see table 2-35 on rail). An example of such a fatality is a bicyclist hit by a train at a grade crossing.

Caution must be exercised in comparing fatalities across modes because significantly different definitions are used. In particular, rail and transit fatalities include incident-related (as distinct from accident-related) fatalities, such as fatalities from falls in transit stations or railroad employee fatalities from a fire in a workshed. Equivalent fatalities for the air and highway modes (fatalities at airports not caused by moving aircraft or fatalities from accidents in automobile repair shops) are not counted toward the totals for these modes. Thus, fatalities not necessarily directly related to in service transportation are counted for the transit and rail modes, potentially overstating the risk for these modes.

SOURCES

Air:

1960: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1967 (Washington, DC: December 1968).

1965-70: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1975, NTSB/ARC-77/1 (Washington, DC: January 1977).

1975: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1983, NTSB/ARC-87/01 (Washington, DC: February 1987), table 18.

1980: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1981, NTSB/ARC-85/01 (Washington, DC: February 1985), tables 2 and 16.

1985-2002: Ibid., Internet site www.ntsb.gov/aviation, table 5 as of May 5, 2003.

Commuter:

1975-80: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1980, NTSB/ARC-83/01 (Washington, DC: January 1983), tables 26 and 40.

1985-2002: Ibid., Internet site www.ntsb.gov/aviation, table 8 as of May 5, 2003.

On-demand air taxi:

1975-80: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1981, NTSB/ARC-85/01 (Washington, DC: February 1985), table 61.

1985-2002: Ibid., Internet site www.ntsb.gov/aviation, table 9 as of May 5, 2003.

General aviation:

1960-70: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. General Aviation, Calendar Year 1970, NTSB/ARG-74/1 (Washington, DC: April 1974), table 117.

1975-80: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: General Aviation, Calendar Year 1985, NTSB/ARG-87/03 (Washington, DC: October 1987), table 21.

1985-2002: Ibid., Internet site www.ntsb.gov/aviation, table 10 as of May 5, 2003.

Highway:

1960-65: Estimated by U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from data supplied by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, and individual state accident reports (adjusted to 30-day deaths). Fatalities data prior to 1975 have been adjusted to reflect the Fatality Analysis Reporting System's definition of a fatal crash as one that involves a motor vehicle on a trafficway that results in the death of a vehicle occupant or a nonmotorist within 30 days of the crash.

1970-2000: Ibid., Traffic Safety Facts 2001, DOT HS 809 100 (Washington, DC: December 2002), table 4, available at Internet site www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSFAnn/TSF2001.pdf as of August 2003.

2001-02: Ibid., Traffic Safety Facts 2002: Overview, DOT HS 809 612 (Washington, DC: 2003), table 1, available at Internet site www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSF2002/2002ovrfacts.pdf as of August 2003.

Rail:

Highway-rail grade crossing:

1960-70: National Safety Council, Accident Facts, 1974 (Washington, DC: 1974).

1975-80: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Policy and Program Development, personal communication.

1985-90: Ibid., Rail-Highway Crossing Accident/Incident and Inventory Bulletin (Washington, DC: Annual issues), table S.

1991-2001: Ibid., Railroad Safety Statistics Annual Report 2001 (Washington, DC: July 2003), tables 1-1 and 8-13, available at Internet site http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety.

2002: Ibid., Preliminary data available at Internet site http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/Prelim/2002/r01.htm as of June 24, 2003.

Railroad:

1960-65: National Safety Council, Accident Facts, 1974 (Washington, DC: 1974).

1970-90: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Highway-Rail Crossing Accident/Incident and Inventory Bulletin (Washington, DC: Annual issues), table 7.

1991-2001: Ibid., Railroad Safety Statistics Annual Report 2001 (Washington, DC: July 2003), tables 1-1 and 8-13, available at Internet site http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety.

2002: Ibid., Preliminary data available at Internet site http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/Prelim/2002/r01.htm as of June 24, 2003.

Transit:

1990-99: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Safety Management Information Statistics  1999 (Washington, DC: 2001), p. 41.

2000-01: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, personal communications, May 1, 2003.

Water:

Vessel- and nonvessel-related:

1970-91: U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Investigations and Analysis, Compliance Analysis Division, (G-MOA-2), personal communication, Apr. 13, 1999.

1992-2002: U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard, Data Administration Division (G-MRI-1), personal communication, May 28, 2003.

Recreational boating:

1960-2001: Ibid., Office of Boating Safety, Boating Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual issues), also available at Internet site http://www.uscgboating.org as of July 25, 2003.

Hazardous liquid and gas pipeline:

1970-2002: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety, Accident and Incident Summary Statistics by Year, located at Internet site http://ops.dot.gov as of June 3, 2003.