Table 2-3: Transportation Accidents 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 (R) 2011 2012
Air 4,883 5,279 4,767 4,232 3,818 2,935 2,388 2,334 2,227 2,172 2,139 2,179 2,046 1,987 2,037 2,043 1,985 1,852 (R) 1,824 1,870 (R) 1,719 1,782 1,611 1,746 1,662 (R) 1,559 (R) 1,505 1,555 1,539
U.S. air carriera 90 83 55 37 19 21 24 26 18 23 23 36 37 49 50 51 56 46 41 54 30 40 33 28 28 30 29 31 27
Commuter carrierb N N N 48 38 18 15 23 23 16 10 12 11 16 8 13 12 7 7 2 4 6 3 3 7 2 6 4 4
On-demand air taxic N N N 152 171 157 107 88 76 69 85 75 90 82 77 74 80 72 60 73 66 65 52 (R) 61 58 47 (R) 30 50 37
General aviationd 4,793 5,196 4,712 3,995 3,590 2,739 2,242 2,197 2,110 2,064 2,021 2,056 1,908 1,840 1,902 1,905 1,837 1,727 (R) 1,716 1,741 (R) 1,619 1,671 1,523 (R) 1,654 1,569 1,480 (R) 1,440 1,470 1,471
Highway, total crashese N N N N N N 6,471,000 6,117,000 6,000,000 6,106,000 6,496,000 6,699,000 6,770,000 6,624,000 6,335,000 6,279,000 6,394,000 6,323,000 6,316,000 6,328,000 6,181,000 6,159,000 5,973,000 6,024,000 5,811,000 5,505,000 5,419,000 5,338,000 5,615,000
Passenger car N N N N N N 5,560,592 5,178,450 5,042,203 5,040,116 5,401,164 5,593,685 5,598,699 5,423,286 5,146,124 4,915,734 4,926,243 4,831,842 4,802,056 4,746,620 4,557,453 4,498,869 4,341,688 U U U U U U
Motorcycle N N N N N N 103,114 105,030 72,177 74,565 68,752 66,354 66,224 61,451 54,477 57,322 68,783 73,342 76,004 79,131 85,557 100,686 101,474 U U U U U U
Truckf, light N N N N N N 2,152,486 2,200,134 2,191,171 2,407,212 2,573,701 2,749,596 2,880,782 2,900,896 2,866,729 3,079,617 3,207,738 3,254,105 3,272,326 3,345,367 3,370,062 3,381,985 3,355,291 U U U U U U
Truckf, large N N N N N N 371,801 318,637 362,807 383,220 444,697 362,883 378,335 421,377 391,807 452,444 437,861 409,372 416,477 436,161 399,156 423,016 367,920 U U U U U U
Bus N N N N N N 60,412 56,285 49,705 51,353 55,818 58,847 57,185 53,376 53,385 62,591 55,594 54,264 57,958 57,674 52,148 50,427 51,554 U U U U U U
Railroad, totalg N N N 23,105 14,053 15,803 14,108 13,559 22,593 20,503 18,177 15,623 14,080 13,390 13,543 13,813 14,024 13,392 11,829 11,864 11,986 11,816 11,412 11,722 (R) 11,035 (R) 9,739 (R) 10,031 9,866 9,457
Highway-rail grade crossingh N N N 1,153 1,219 841 691 709 641 652 683 661 645 556 548 526 607 542 502 470 548 571 551 564 (R) 506 428 453 443 446
Railroadi N N N 21,952 12,834 14,962 13,417 12,850 21,952 19,851 17,494 14,962 13,435 12,834 12,995 13,287 13,417 12,850 11,327 11,394 11,438 11,245 10,861 11,158 10,529 (R) 9,311 (R) 9,578 9,423 9,011
Transit, totalj N N N N N N 13,646 15,646 17,012 16,228 17,292 15,613 15,123 16,343 14,653 13,398 14,118 13,741 8,206 6,570 7,172 6,877 7,326 7,964 9,640 7,580 8,927 6,519 U
Highway-rail grade crossingk N N N N N N N N N N N 127 134 119 106 140 148 101 190 125 178 148 141 174 232 190 201 204 U
Transitl N N N N N N N N N N N 15,486 14,989 16,224 14,547 13,258 13,970 13,640 8,016 6,445 6,994 6,729 7,185 7,790 9,408 7,390 8,726 6,315 U
Waterborne, total N N 6,385 9,618 10,137 9,676 10,024 8,795 11,631 12,461 13,649 13,368 13,286 13,551 13,828 13,457 13,143 11,377 11,713 10,601 9,866 9,946 9,565 9,885 9,545 9,188 9,889 10,425 9,813
Vessel-relatedm N N 2,582 3,310 4,624 3,439 3,613 2,222 5,583 6,126 6,743 5,349 5,260 5,504 5,767 5,526 5,403 4,958 6,008 5,163 4,962 4,977 4,598 4,694 4,756 4,458 5,285 5,837 5,298
Recreational boating 2,738 3,752 3,803 6,308 5,513 6,237 6,411 6,573 6,048 6,335 6,906 8,019 8,026 8,047 8,061 7,931 7,740 6,419 5,705 5,438 4,904 4,969 4,967 5,191 4,789 4,730 4,604 4,588 4,515
Pipeline, total N N 1,428 1,592 1,770 517 379 449 389 445 467 349 381 346 389 339 380 341 (R) 643 (R) 672 (R) 672 (R) 720 (R) 639 615 (R) 660 628 (R) 590 597 570
Hazardous liquid pipeline N N 351 254 246 183 180 216 212 229 245 188 194 171 153 167 146 130 (R) 459 (R) 434 377 369 (R) 354 332 375 342 350 347 364
Gas pipeline N N 1,077 1,338 1,524 334 199 233 177 216 222 161 187 175 236 172 234 211 184 238 (R) 295 (R) 351 (R) 285 283 (R) 285 286 (R) 240 250 206

KEY: N = data do not exist; 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 includes only aircraft with 10 or more seats 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. Since Mar. 20, 1997, 14 CFR 121 includes only aircraft with 10 or more seats 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.

c Nonscheduled service operating under 14 CFR 135.

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

e The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses the term "crash" instead of accident in its highway safety data. Highway crashes often involve more than one motor vehicle, and hence "total highway crashes" is smaller than the sum of the components. Estimates of highway crashes are rounded to the nearest thousand in the source document.

f 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.

g Includes Amtrak. Accidents and incidents resulting from freight and passenger rail operations including commuter rail. Railroad accident data for 1970 and before are not comparable with post-1970 data due to a change in the reporting system.

h Accidents and incidents occurring at highway-rail crossings resulting from freight and passenger rail operations including commuter rail. Data are not comparable after 1970 due to a change in reporting system. Train and commuter rail occupant and nonoccupant incidents, excluding public highway-rail grade crossing incidents involving motor vehicles.

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

j Accident figures include collisions with vehicles, objects, and people, derailments / vehicles going off the road. Accident figures do not include fires and personal casualties. The drop in the number of accidents in 2002 is due largely to a change in definitions by the Federal Transit Administration, particularly the definition of injuries. Beginning in 2002, only injuries requiring immediate medical treatment away from the scene qualified as reportable. In 2008, the property damage threshold was changed to $25,000. Previously, any accident with property damage equal to or greater than $7,500 was reported.

k Accidents occurring at highway-rail grade crossings resulting from operations of public transit rail modes excluding commuter rail. Data for light rail crossings are: 1995 (98); 1996 (97); 1997 (66); 1998 (66); 1999 (103); 2000 (106); 2001 (54); 2002 (112); 2003 (68); 2004 (106); 2005 (81); 2006 (95); 2007 (93); 2008 (107); 2009 (119); 2010 (133), and 2011(123). Since 2008, the data has included both directly operated (DO) and purchased transportation (PT) modes.

l Transit total subtract highway-rail grade crossing.

m 1992-97 data are obtained from the Marine Safety Management Information System. Between 1998 and 2000, 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 this period, data are obtained from combining entries in the Marine Safety Management Information System with entries in the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement System. Data after 2002 comes from the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement System. Statistics for prior years may not be directly comparable due to the revised method of capture.

NOTES

The motor vehicle crash data are from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations' General Estimates System (GES), which began operation in 1988. GES data are obtained from a nationally representative probability sample selected from all police-reported crashes. The GES sample includes only crashes where a police accident report was completed and the crash resulted in property damage, injury, or death. The resulting figures do not take into account crashes that were not reported to the police or did not result in property damage.

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.

SOURCES

Air:

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.

1985-2006: Ibid., personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2007-12: National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Statistics, table 5, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of Jun. 25, 2014.

Commuter air carrier:

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.

1985-2006: Ibid., personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2007-12: National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Statistics, table 8, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of Jun. 25, 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.

1985-2006: Ibid., personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2007-12: National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Statistics, table 9, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of Jun. 25, 2014.

General aviation:

1960-70: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: 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.

1985-2006: Ibid., personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2007-12: National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Statistics, table 10, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of Jun. 25, 2014.

Highway:

Total:

U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Traffic Safety Facts (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 1, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/cats/index.aspx as of Oct. 28, 2010.

2009-2010: Ibid, Traffic Safety Facts Research Note, table 4, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811552.pdf as of Mar. 13, 2012.

2011: Traffic Safety Facts Research Note, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811753.pdf as of Jun. 25, 2013

2112: Traffic Safety Facts 2012, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812032.pdf as of Jun. 25, 2014.

Passenger car, motorcycle, light truck, large truck, and bus:

U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Fatality Analysis Reporting System Database and General Estimates System Database.

Rail:

Highway-rail grade crossings:

1960-70: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Policy and Program Development, Rail-Highway Grade-Crossing Accidents (Washington, DC: Annual Issues).

1975-2012: 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 Jun. 25, 2014.

Railroad:

1970: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Policy and Program Development, Accident/Incident Bulletin (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 4.

1975-2012: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, table 1.6, Ten Year Accident/Incident Overview by Railroad, available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of Jun. 25, 2014.

Transit:

Transit Total:

1990-2011: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Transit Safety, Safety and Security Statistics, available at http://transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov/data/samis/default.aspx?ReportID=1 as of Jun. 24, 2013

Highway-rail grade crossings:

1960-2007: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Office of Program Management, personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2008-2011: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, personal communication, Oct. 14, 2010, Nov. 4, 2011, and Jan. 18, 2013.

Water:

Vessel-related:

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

1992-2005: U.S Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Data Administration Division (G-MRI-1), personal communication, June 8, 2005.

2006-2012: U.S Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Investigations and Analysis, Compliance Analysis Division, personal communication, Nov. 20, 2012 and 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 29, available at http://www.uscgboating.org/statistics/accident_statistics.aspx as of Jun. 25, 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 Jun. 25, 2014.