NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


October 3, 2000

Washington, D.C. - Only two fewer Americans died in transportation-related accidents in 1999 as compared to the previous year, according to a report released today by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Preliminary figures show that last year, 43,986 persons died in highway, rail, marine, aviation and pipeline accidents, down from 43,988 in 1998. Increases in fatalities were registered in highway, aviation and pipeline accidents, while rail and marine fatalities declined.

Highway fatalities, which account for more than 94 percent of all transportation deaths, rose from 41,501 in 1998 to 41,611 in 1999. Fatalities at roadway/railway grade crossings declined from 431 to 402.

Rail fatalities declined from 831 to 805 on the strength of a large drop in pedestrian fatalities associated with intercity rail operations. Fatalities occurring on light rail, heavy rail and commuter rail rose from 192 to 218. (Because of peculiarities in reporting requirements, there may be some duplication in the numbers for intercity rail and commuter rail on the accompanying chart.) Deaths among passengers on trains rose from 4 to 14.

Marine fatalities dropped from 950 to 853, with the largest drop in recreational boating, from 815 to 729. Commercial passenger fatalities rose from 17 to 36.

Aviation deaths rose slightly, from 688 to 691. The vast majority of deaths in aviation occur in private aircraft (general aviation, 628 fatalities). [Detailed aviation statistics are in press release SB-00/05, dated February 25, 2000, found on the Board's web site, www.ntsb.gov]

Pipeline fatalities increased from 18 to 26. Deaths related to gas pipelines increased from 17 to 22, while liquid pipeline fatalities rose from 1 to 4.

Aviation statistics are compiled by the NTSB. Numbers for all other modes are from the respective Department of Transportation modal agencies. All numbers for 1999 are preliminary.


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NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



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.