Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by one and a half percent in 2006 from 2005, according to preliminary figures contained in a report released by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The data indicate that transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 45,026 in 2006, compared to 45,735 in 2005. While highway and rail fatalities declined and pipeline deaths remained virtually unchanged, marine and general aviation fatalities showed increases.
Highway fatalities, which account for nearly 95% of all transportation deaths, decreased from 43,510 in 2005 to 42,642 in 2006, with a five percent increase in motorcycle fatalities from 4,576 in 2005 to 4,810 in 2006. The number of fatalities decreased or remained approximately the same in most other highway vehicle categories.
Aviation deaths rose from 617 to 779. Nearly 90% of aviation fatalities occur in general aviation accidents (698) and they account for a significant majority of the increase in aviation-related deaths from 2005 to 2006.
Marine deaths rose from 789 to 805, with the vast majority occurring in recreational boating (710). All other marine categories (cargo transport, commercial fishing and commercial passengers) remained nearly unchanged.
Rail fatalities decreased slightly from 803 to 781, with declines in all categories except for pedestrian fatalities associated with intercity rail operations (559 to 585).
Pipeline fatalities increased by three deaths (16 to 19), with the slight increase related to gas pipelines and no deaths 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.