Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 9.2 percent in 2009 from 2008, according to preliminary figures released Oct. 6 by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The data indicate that transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 35,928 in 2009, compared to 39,569 in 2008. Although highway, rail and aviation deaths declined, pipeline and marine fatalities increased.
“While statistics show that transportation fatalities have declined this past year,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman, “we continue to see far too many accidents in all segments of the transportation community. There is still much work to do to prevent the loss of life on our roads, rails, waterways, and skies.”
Highway fatalities, which account for nearly 95 percent of all transportation deaths, decreased from 37,423 in 2008 to 33,808 in 2009. In fact, highway fatalities decreased in all categories including motorcycle fatalities (down 16 percent) that had been on the rise in recent years.
Aviation statistics are compiled by the NTSB. Marine numbers are provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and numbers for all other modes by the U.S. Department of Transportation.