Safety

NTSB Weighs in on Transportation Fatality Increase

Thomas McMahon
Posted on November 27, 2017
A total of 39,339 people died in accidents in all modes of transportation in 2016. Seen here is an NTSB crash investigation. NTSB photo by Jennifer Morrison
A total of 39,339 people died in accidents in all modes of transportation in 2016. Seen here is an NTSB crash investigation. NTSB photo by Jennifer Morrison

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fatalities on the nation’s roads accounted for 95% of all transportation deaths in 2016, according to a new analysis by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

NTSB reported last week that a total of 39,339 people lost their lives in accidents in all modes of transportation — highway, rail, marine, aviation, and pipeline — in 2016. The total was an increase of 5.4% from the 37,309 transportation deaths in 2015.

As previously reported, data released recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that there were 37,461 highway traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2016, up 5.6% from the 2015 total of 35,485.

NTSB reported last week that fatalities also increased in the marine and rail transportation sectors. Marine deaths jumped from 688 in 2015 to 730 in 2016, while railroad deaths rose from 708 to 733.

Meanwhile, there was a slight decrease in aviation fatalities, from 416 to 412.

"Unfortunately, we continue to see increases in transportation fatalities," NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said. "We can do more, we must do more, to eliminate the completely preventable accidents that claim so many lives each year. Implementation of the 315 open safety recommendations associated with the NTSB’s Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements has the greatest potential to reverse this alarming trend.”

Aviation statistics are tracked and compiled by the NTSB. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides marine statistics, and the U.S. Department of Transportation (which includes NHTSA) provides statistics for all other modes.

NTSB’s data tables for transportation fatalities for all modes is available here.

Related Topics: fatalities, NTSB

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Richard Skibitski

     | about 11 days ago

    I wonder if there is a correlation between the increase in on-dash distractions and the increase in fatalities. I've been in cars where the driver does everything BUT look out the windshield.

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