Transportation fatalities in the U.S. decreased by 9.2 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, according to preliminary figures released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Although highway, rail, aviation deaths declined, pipeline and marine fatalities showed an increase. The data indicates that transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 35,928 in 2009, compared to 39,569 in 2008.
"While statistics show that transportation fatalities have declined this past year, we continue to see far too many accidents in all segments of the transportation community," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman. "There is still much work to do to prevent the loss of life on our roads, rails, waterways and skies."
Highway fatalities, which account for nearly 95 percent of all transportation deaths, decreased from 37,423 in 2008 to 33,808 in 2009, while rail fatalities decreased 4 percent from 781 to 751. The vast majority of these fatalities were persons struck by a rail vehicle.