NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


September 6, 2001

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Transportation fatalities in the United States rose 0.2 percent last year over those in 1999, according to preliminary figures contained in a report released today the National Transportation Safety Board.

Preliminary figures show that in 2000, 44,186 persons died in highway, rail, marine, aviation and pipeline accidents, up from 44,093 in 1999. Increases in fatalities were registered in highway, aviation, and pipeline while rail and marine fatalities declined.

Highway fatalities, which account for more than 94 percent of all transportation deaths, rose from 41,717 in 1999 to 41,800 in 2000. Fatalities at roadway/railway grade crossings increased from 402 to 425.

Rail fatalities declined from 783 to 770, despite an increase in pedestrian fatalities associated with intercity rail operations. Deaths among passengers on trains declined from 14 to 4. Fatalities occurring on light rail, heavy rail and commuter rail dropped from 196 to 194. (Because of peculiarities in reporting requirements, there may be some duplication in the numbers for intercity rail and commuter rail on the accompanying chart.)

Marine fatalities dropped from 874 to 801, with most fatalities occurring in recreational boating. Cargo transport, commercial fishing, and commercial passenger deaths all decreased from the previous year.

Aviation deaths rose from 693 to 777. The vast majority of deaths in aviation occur in general aviation (592 deaths). Airline fatalities increased from 12 to 92 - 88 of which were aboard Alaska Airlines flight 261, which crashed off the coast of California - and air taxi fatalities increased from 38 to 71. [Detailed aviation statistics are in press release SB-01/07, dated March 16, 2001, found on the Board's web site, www.ntsb.gov.

Pipeline fatalities increased from 26 to 38. Deaths related to gas pipelines increased from 22 to 37, while liquid pipeline fatalities decreased from 4 to 1.

Aviation statistics are compiled by the NTSB. Numbers for all other modes are from the respective Department of Transportation modal agencies. All numbers for 2000 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.