Despite an overall downward trend in transportation fatalities in the U.S., estimates for 2010 released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reveal a rise in several categories, including motorcycles, medium and heavy trucks, buses and rail.
"Though the NTSB continues to advocate for changes to address human factors, equipment and infrastructure improvements to prevent crashes, we continue to see far too many deaths each year," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.
The data indicate that overall transportation fatalities decreased to 34,925 in 2010 from 35,994 in 2009.
The total number of fatalities on U.S. roadways dropped by about 1,000 (33,883 to 32,885) with the majority of vehicle-related deaths involving passenger cars and light trucks and vans.
Motorcycle-related deaths saw the largest increase (4,469 to 4,502), but deaths also rose for occupants in medium- and heavy-duty trucks (499 to 529) and buses (26 to 44).
Meanwhile, rail fatalities increased from 742 to 813, with the majority at grade crossings, though deaths on light, heavy and commuter rail rose from 229 to 253.
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