Washington, D.C. - Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased slightly in 2004, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. Deaths from transportation accidents in the United States in 2004 totaled 44,870, down from the 45,158 fatalities in 2003.
“Although it is always gratifying to see transportation fatalities decline,” NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker said, “the yearly toll, especially on our highways, continues to be unacceptable. We need to do more at all levels -- federal, state, and local – to protect our traveling public.”
Highway transportation, which accounts for the largest portion of fatalities, decreased from 42,884 in 2003 to 42,636 in 2004.
The number of persons killed in all aviation accidents dropped from 710 in 2003 to 651 in 2004.
Total rail fatalities increased from 760 in 2003 to 802 in 2004, reflecting a rise in every category except passenger fatalities, which remained at 3. Fatalities occurring on light rail, heavy rail, and commuter rail increased from 165 to 186. (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 decreased from 792 to 757 with every category except cargo transportation showing a decrease. Cargo transport fatalities were up from 19 to 25. Recreational boating fatalities, the largest category of marine deaths, decreased from 703 to 676.