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Rail Fatalities


Monthly data, not seasonally adjusted

Rail Fatalities

Improving safety is the top priority of the United States Department of Transportation. The number of railroad deaths (excluding public highway crossings) continues a downward trend. For the five-year period of 2003-2007 there was an average of 52 deaths per month, and the five-year period of 2008-2012 had an average of 47 deaths per month. Likewise, over the same period, efforts to improve safety and build grade separations have helped decrease fatalities at public highway grade-crossings from 21 per month in the 2003-2007 period to 13 per month in the 2008-2012 period.

Over the ten-year period of 2003-2012, 73% of all rail-related fatalities (including public highway crossings) were trespassers.

Rail Fatalities Jul-12 Jul-13
Rail Fatalities (excluding highway vehicles at public crossings) 61 63
Percent change from same month previous year + 15.1% + 3.3%

NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, rail fatalities excludes occupants of highway motor vehicles killed at public highway-rail grade crossings. Rail-highway fatalities are counted under highway fatailities in order to eliminate double-counting.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, Operational Data Tables, Tables 4.01 and 4.06, available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of December 2013.

Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017