NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


October 16, 2008

Washington, DC - Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 4 percent in 2007 from 2006, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The data indicate that transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 43,193 in 2007, compared to 45,085 in 2006. Although highway, marine, aviation, and pipeline deaths declined, rail fatalities showed an increase.

"While statistics show that transportation fatalities have declined this past year," said Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker, "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% of all transportation deaths, decreased from 42,708 in 2006 to 41,059 in 2007. However, motorcycle fatalities not only increased 6 percent from 4,837 to 5,154, but the 317 additional deaths that occurred in 2007 marked the single largest increase in a specific category across all modes.

The number of fatalities decreased or remained approximately the same in most other highway vehicle categories.

Aviation deaths decreased from 784 to 545. Nearly 90% of aviation fatalities occurred in general aviation accidents (491), but they still represented a significant decrease from the previous year (703).

Marine deaths dropped from 800 to 766, with the vast majority occurring in recreational boating (685). Other marine categories, including cargo transport and commercial fishing, remained nearly unchanged, although commercial passengers vessels showed a slight increase.

Rail fatalities increased slightly from 774 to 808. The vast majority of these fatalities were persons struck by a rail vehicle.

Pipeline fatalities decreased by four (19 to 15), with a slight decrease related to gas pipelines and an increase in 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 Media Contact:
Keith Holloway
(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.