NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


September 18, 2006

Washington, D.C. - Transportation fatalities in the United States increased last year, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. Deaths from transportation accidents in the United States in 2005 totaled 45,636, up from 45,092 in 2004.

"It is very disturbing to see transportation fatalities rising," said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. "In all
modes, but especially on our roads and highways, we need a concerted effort by government, industry and the traveling public to establish a strong downward trend in the number of fatal accidents."

Highway transportation, which by far accounts for the largest portion of fatalities, rose to 43,443 in 2005 from 42,836 in 2004. Motorcycle fatalities jumped substantially to 4,553 in 2005 from 4,028 the previous year. Buses, light trucks and vans, medium and heavy trucks, and pedestrian deaths also showed increases. However, passenger car fatalities fell from 19,192 in 2004 to 18,440 in 2005.

The number of persons killed in all aviation accidents in 2005 dropped to 616 from 652 in 2004. Airline fatalities increased from 14 to 22, while air taxi deaths dropped sharply from 64 in 2004 to 18 last year. General aviation fatalities in 2005 ticked up slightly to 562 from 558.

Total rail fatalities decreased from 816 in 2004 to 789 in 2005, with declines reflected in both the intercity and transit categories. (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 deaths showed a slight increase from 765 in 2004 to 769 in 2005. Recreational boating deaths, the largest marine category, jumped to 697 from 676, while cargo transport fatalities dropped substantially to 12 in 2005 from 26 in 2004.

Pipeline fatalities decreased in 2005 from 23 to 19, with 17 deaths related to gas pipelines and 2 to liquid pipeline operations.

Aviation statistics are compiled by the NTSB. Marine numbers are provided by the Department of Homeland Security, and numbers for all other modes, by the Department of Transportation.

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.