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 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 (P) 2012
TOTAL fatalities U U U U U U 47,379 44,384 42,089 42,864 43,610 44,602 44,859 44,501 43,987 44,074 44,376 44,933 45,262 45,110 45,035 45,645 45,018 43,314 39,505 (R) 35,920 (R) 34,968 (R) 34,458 U
Air, total 1,286 1,290 1,456 1,473 1,382 1,595 866 1,039 988 811 1,057 963 1,093 724 670 683 764 1,166 616 699 637 603 774 540 567 548 (R) 476 (R) 489 447
U.S. air carriera 499 261 146 124 1 526 39 62 33 1 239 168 380 8 1 12 92 531 0 22 14 22 50 1 3 52 2 0 0
Commuter carrierb N N N 28 37 37 6 99 21 24 25 9 14 46 0 12 5 13 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
On-demand air taxic N N N 69 105 76 51 78 68 42 63 52 63 39 45 38 71 60 35 42 64 18 16 43 69 17 17 41 15
General aviationd 787 1,029 1,310 1,252 1,239 956 770 800 866 744 730 734 636 631 624 621 596 562 581 633 559 563 706 496 495 479 (R) 457 (R) 448 432
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 42,065 42,013 41,501 41,717 41,945 42,196 43,005 42,884 42,836 43,510 42,708 41,259 37,423 33,883 32,999 (R) 32,479 33,561
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 20,320 20,569 19,725 19,192 18,512 17,925 16,614 14,646 13,135 12,491 (R) 12,014 12,271
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 3,197 3,270 3,714 4,028 4,576 4,837 5,174 5,312 4,469 4,518 (R) 4,630 4,957
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 11,723 12,274 12,546 12,674 13,037 12,761 12,458 10,816 10,312 9,782 (R) 9,302 9,396
Truck occupantse, large N N N 961 1,262 977 705 661 585 605 670 648 621 723 742 759 754 708 689 726 766 804 805 805 682 499 530 (R) 640 697
Bus occupants N N N 53 46 57 32 31 28 18 18 33 21 18 38 59 22 34 45 41 42 58 27 36 67 26 44 (R) 55 39
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 4,901 4,851 4,774 4,675 4,892 4,795 4,699 4,414 4,109 4,302 (R) 4,457 4,743
Pedalcyclists 490 690 760 1,003 965 890 859 843 723 816 802 833 765 814 760 754 693 732 665 629 727 786 772 701 718 628 623 (R) 682 726
Otherf 27,909 36,759 40,637 1,018 669 628 584 590 485 536 516 501 609 573 540 596 591 581 642 729 732 845 786 772 768 705 709 (R) 699 732
Railroad, totalg N N N 774 709 556 729 697 704 762 725 691 662 685 683 623 631 656 680 616 635 626 636 624 605 (R) 534 (R) 597 (R) 550 561
Highway-rail grade crossingh N N N 131 125 102 130 111 113 109 114 124 111 83 106 93 119 106 86 85 115 101 102 112 91 (R) 87 (R) 124 (R) 111 98
Railroad 924 923 785 643 584 454 599 586 591 653 611 567 551 602 577 530 512 550 594 531 520 525 534 512 514 447 (R) 473 (R) 439 463
Transit, totali N N N N N N 125 116 100 98 98 94 80 80 79 101 110 80 86 66 82 57 40 65 75 103 109 106 U
Highway-rail grade crossingj N N N N N N N N N N N 17 7 12 26 21 20 13 24 21 29 23 21 27 26 35 36 18 U
Transitk N N N N N N N N N N N 77 73 68 53 80 90 67 62 45 53 34 19 38 49 68 73 88 U
Waterborne, totall N N 2,016 2,039 1,847 1,377 1,051 1,010 1,032 1,026 992 1,016 906 989 1,033 928 888 828 863 833 822 835 839 811 827 839 765 820 714
Vessel-relatedl N N 178 243 206 131 85 30 97 105 77 53 55 48 69 58 53 53 59 69 86 78 73 67 51 50 41 (R) 31 33
Not related to vessel casualtiesm N N 420 330 281 130 101 56 119 121 131 134 142 120 149 136 134 94 54 61 60 60 56 59 67 53 52 (R) 27 30
Recreational boatingn 739 1,360 1,418 1,466 1,360 1,116 865 924 816 800 784 829 709 821 815 734 701 681 750 703 676 697 710 685 709 736 672 758 651
Pipeline, total N N 30 15 19 33 9 14 15 17 22 21 53 10 21 22 38 7 12 12 23 14 21 15 8 13 22 14 12
Hazardous liquid pipeline N N 4 7 4 5 3 0 5 0 1 3 5 0 2 4 1 0 1 0 5 2 0 4 2 4 1 1 3
Gas pipeline N N 26 8 15 28 6 14 10 17 21 18 48 10 19 18 37 7 11 12 18 12 21 11 6 9 21 13 9

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

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. In 2001, other than the persons aboard the aircraft who were killed, fatalities resulting from the September 11 terrorist acts are excluded. U.S. air carrier figure does not include 12 persons killed aboard a commuter aircraft when it and a US Air airliner collided.

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. Commuter air carrier figure does not include 22 persons killed aboard a US Air airliner when it and a commuter aircraft collided.

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. 2006 includes the 154 persons killed aboard a foreign registered aircraft operated by Gol Airlines in a collision with another aircraft over Brazil.

eLight 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. Large trucks are defined as trucks over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, including single-unit trucks and truck tractors.

f Includes occupants of other vehicle types, other nonmotorists, and unknown. 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. Fatalities include those resulting from train accidents, train incidents, and nontrain incidents. Railroad fatality data for 1970 and before is not comparable with post-1970 data due to a change in the reporting system. Train and commuter rail occupant and nonoccupant fatalities, excluding public highway-rail grade crossing fatalities involving motor vehicles.

h Fatalities involving motor vehicles at private highway-rail grade crossings and fatalities not involving motor vehicles at all highway-rail grade crossings resulting from freight and passenger rail operations including commuter rail. Highway-rail grade crossing fatalities involving motor vehicles at public highway-rail grade crossings are counted under Highway.

i All reportable fatalities for heavy rail, light rail, and automated guideway.

j Includes heavy rail, light rail, and automated guideway. Data for fatalities at light rail grade crossings are: 1995 (7); 1996 (3); 1997 (3); 1998 (10); 1999 (7); 2000 (12); 2001 (1); 2002 (1); 2003 (4); 2004 (10); 2005 (8); 2006 (7); 2007 (5); 2008 (8); 2009 (14); 2010 (9), and 2011(7). Since 2008, the data has included both directly operated (DO) and purchased transportation (PT) modes.

k Transit total subtract highway-rail grade crossing.

l 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.

m 1992-97 data come from the Marine Safety Management Information System. Between 1998 and 2001, the U.S. Coast Guard phased in a new computer system to track safety data, the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement System. During that period, data come from combining entries in the Marine Safety Management Information System with entries in the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement System. Data for 2002 and 2003 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.

n 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.

NOTES

To reduce double counting, the following adjustments are made: For Railroad, fatalities involving motor vehicles at public highway-rail grade crossings are excluded because such fatalities are assumed to be included in Highway fatalities. Railroad includes only fatalities involving motor vehicles at private highway-rail grade crossings and those not involving motor vehicles. For Transit, commuter rail, demand response, motorbus, and vanpool fatalities are excluded because they are counted as Railroad or Highway fatalities.

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.

The Federal Railroad Administration defines a grade crossing as a location where a public highway, road, street, or private roadway, including associated sidewalks and pathways, crosses one or more railroad tracks at grade. The Federal Transit Administration defines two types of grade crossings: (1) At grade, mixed, and cross traffic crossings, meaning railway right-of-way over which other traffic moving in the same direction or other cross directions may pass. This includes city street right-of-way; (2) At grade with cross traffic crossings, meaning railway right-of-way over which no other traffic may pass, except to cross at grade-level crossings. This can include median strip rights-of-way with grade level crossings at intersecting streets.

Highway 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 traffic way that results in the death of a vehicle occupant or a nonmotorist within 30 days of the crash.

SOURCES

Air:

U.S. Air Carrier:

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.

1985-2012: Ibid., Aviation Accident Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 5, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of June 2014.

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.

1985-2012: Ibid., Aviation Accident Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 8, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of June 2014.

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.

1985-2012: Ibid., Aviation Accident Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 9, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of June 2014.

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.

1985-2012: Ibid., Aviation Accident Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 10, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of June 2014.

Highway:

1960-65: 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).

1970-2012: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts (Annual Editions), available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/cats/index.aspx as of June 2014.

Rail:

Highway-rail grade crossing:

1975-2011: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, table 5.11, Hwy/Rail Incidents Summary Tables, available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of September 2013.

Railroad:

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

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

1975-2012: Ibid., U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, table 1.12 and table 5.14 , available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of June 2014.

Transit:

Highway-rail grade crossing:

U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Office of Program Management, personal communications, Aug. 28, 2007 and Jan. 18, 2013.

Transit:

1990-2011: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe Center, Transit Safety and Security Statistics, available at http://transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov/data/samis.aspx as of September 2013.

Water:

Vessel- and nonvessel-related:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Data Administration Division (G-MRI-1), personal communication, Sept. 30, 2010, Oct. 4, 2011, Nov. 20, 2012, Nov. 12 2013.

Recreational boating:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Boating Safety, Boating Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 31, available at http://www.uscgboating.org as of June 2014.

Hazardous liquid and gas pipeline:

1970-85: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety, Accident and Incident Summary Statistics by Year, available at http://ops.dot.gov as of Nov. 18, 2003.

1990-2012: U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety, Accident and Incident Summary Statistics by Year, available at http://phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline as of June 2014.