NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


TRANSPORTATION DEATHS IN U.S. ROSE FOR THIRD YEAR IN ROW

July 1, 1996

(Washington, D.C.) -- Transportation-related deaths rose in 1995 for the third year in a row, the National Transportation Safety Board reported today. It said fatalities totaled 44,347 persons, up two percent from 43,433 in 1994, according to preliminary figures.

Highway-related deaths, which account for more than 90 percent of all fatalities, rose by about 1,000 to a total of 41,700. Preliminary data indicate 1.7 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles travelled in 1995.

"I am concerned that this is the third year in a row with no improvement in the highway fatality rate" said NTSB Chairman Jim Hall. "The safety community needs to take steps to improve safety on our highways and I once again appeal to all Americans to heed these sad statistics and exercise utmost care as the heavy vacation travel season begins with the July Fourth holiday."

The number of persons killed in aviation accidents decreased to 969 in 1995 from 1,071 the year before. While most of last year's fatalities resulted from general aviation accidents, there were 177 deaths from accidents by scheduled carriers (major airlines and commuters). The two major airline accidents that account for most of these numbers were the crash of an American Airlines B-757 in Columbia last December with 160 fatalities and a U. S. cargo plane that went off a runway in Guatemala in April, killing six persons. Nine people died in accidents involving commuter airlines last year, eight of whom were aboard an Atlantic Southeast airplane that crashed in Carrollton, Georgia last August. The remaining two fatalities resulted from an accident involving a nonscheduled cargo flight in the Dominican Republic last June.

The number of persons killed in recreational boating accidents increased to 836 in 1995 from 784 the year before. Personal watercraft fatalities have more than doubled since 1992 and last year accounted for at least 79 fatalities according to the preliminary data. Preliminary Coast Guard data also indicate that there were 31 marine cargo transport deaths and 37 commercial fishing fatalities last year.

Rail fatalities declined to 753 persons from 809 in 1994. The largest share of these deaths -- 593 -- continued to be as a result of persons walking on or near railroad tracks. There were no passenger fatalities last year on railroads that report to the Federal Railroad Administration. The Federal Transit Administration reported that there were 119 fatalities associated with the operations of light and commuter rail companies, compared to 125 in 1994. Motor vehicle occupants killed in grade crossing accidents totalled 575 persons, down from 615.

Pipeline-related deaths totalled 21, against 22 in 1994.

Aviation statistics are compiled by the Safety Board. However, data on other modes of transportation are reported to the Board from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The attached table and chart further break down the 1995 preliminary fatality statistics.

ALL 1995 DATA ARE PRELIMINARY.

Media contact: NTSB Office of Public Affairs

(202) 314-6100

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.