The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary data concerning 2013 transportation fatalities. According to NTSB figures, 34,678 people were killed across all modes of transportation in 2013. That represents a slight decrease from 2012, during which 35,796 died in transportation accidents. The data groups all deaths from highway accidents, aviation accidents, marine, rail and pipeline transportation accidents. The acting chairman of the NTSB called the total “very troubling” while acknowledging that it represented a slight improvement.
Traffic deaths make up the vast majority of transportation deaths in the United States. In 2013, there were 32,719 deaths on U.S. roadways. Railroad accidents accounted for 891 deaths. Marine deaths, many of them tied to recreational boating accidents totaled 615. Aviation deaths accounted for 443 of the total.
The breakdown of highway deaths shows that passenger cars account for the most fatalities. Nearly 12,000 deaths were suffered in car accidents. Accidents involving light trucks and vans accounted for 9,155 fatalities. Pedestrian accidents and motorcycle accidents were the next largest segments of transportation deaths in 2013.
The mission of the NTSB is to advance transportation safety. It constantly analyzes the causes of transportation accidents and makes recommendation to the Federal Government and transportation industry leaders on how to improve safety. NTSB investigations help demonstrate how accidents occur and what can be done to prevent them.
Source: National Transportation Safety Board, “Acting Chairman Hart Announces Slight Drop in 2013 Transportation Fatalities in Most Categories; Rail Deaths Rise,” 2 February 2015