You are here

Transportation Accidents by Mode

View Table Data
Notes: 

The motor vehicle crash data are from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations' General Estimates System (GES), which began operation in 1988. GES data are obtained from a nationally representative probability sample selected from all police-reported crashes. The GES sample includes only crashes where a police accident report was completed and the crash resulted in property damage, injury, or death. The resulting figures do not take into account crashes that were not reported to the police or did not result in property damage.

Highway crashes for detailed modes after 2007 are not comparable to the previous years due to different data sources.

The Federal Railroad Administration defines a grade crossing as a location where a public highway, road, street, or private roadway, including associated sidewalks and pathways, crosses one or more railroad tracks at grade. The Federal Transit Administration defines two types of grade crossings: (1) At grade, mixed, and cross traffic crossings, meaning railway right-of-way over which other traffic moving in the same direction or other cross directions may pass. This includes city street right-of-way; (2) at grade with cross traffic crossings, meaning railway right-of-way over which no other traffic may pass, except to cross at grade-level crossings. This can include median strip rights-of-way with grade level crossings at intersecting streets.

Description: 

KEY: N = data do not exist; R = revised; U = data are not available.

a Carriers operating under 14 CFR 121, all scheduled and nonscheduled service. Since Mar. 20, 1997, 14 CFR 121 includes only aircraft with 10 or more seats formerly operated under 14 CFR 135. This change makes it difficult to compare pre-1997 data for 14 CFR 121 and 14 CFR 135 with more recent data.

b All scheduled service operating under 14 CFR 135. Since Mar. 20, 1997, 14 CFR 121 includes only aircraft with 10 or more seats formerly operated under 14 CFR 135. This change makes it difficult to compare pre-1997 data for 14 CFR 121 and 14 CFR 135 with more recent data.

c Nonscheduled service operating under 14 CFR 135.

d All operations other than those operating under 14 CFR 121 and 14 CFR 135.

e The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses the term "crash" instead of accident in its highway safety data. Highway crashes often involve more than one motor vehicle, and hence "total highway crashes" is smaller than the sum of the components. Estimates of highway crashes are rounded to the nearest thousand in the source document.

f Large trucks are defined as trucks over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, including single-unit trucks and truck tractors. Light trucks are defined as trucks of 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating or less, including pickups, vans, truck-based station wagons, and utility vehicles.

g Includes Amtrak. Accidents and incidents resulting from freight and passenger rail operations including commuter rail. Railroad accident data for 1970 and before are not comparable with post-1970 data due to a change in the reporting system.  

h Accidents and incidents occurring at highway-rail crossings resulting from freight and passenger rail operations including commuter rail. Data are not comparable after 1970 due to a change in reporting system. Train and commuter rail occupant and nonoccupant incidents, excluding public highway-rail grade crossing incidents involving motor vehicles. 

i All reportable incidents for heavy rail, light rail, and automated guideway.

j Accident figures include collisions with vehicles, objects, and people, derailments / vehicles going off the road. Accident figures do not include fires and personal casualties. The drop in the number of accidents in 2002 is due largely to a change in definitions by the Federal Transit Administration, particularly the definition of injuries. Beginning in 2002, only injuries requiring immediate medical treatment away from the scene qualified as reportable. In 2008, the property damage threshold was changed to $25,000. Previously, any accident with property damage equal to or greater than $7,500 was reported. 

k Accidents occurring at highway-rail grade crossings resulting from operations of public transit rail modes excluding commuter rail. Data for light rail crossings are: 1995 (98); 1996 (97); 1997 (66); 1998 (66); 1999 (103); 2000 (106); 2001 (54); 2002 (112); 2003 (68); 2004 (106); 2005 (81); 2006 (95); 2007 (93); 2008 (107); 2009 (119); 2010 (133), 2011(116), 2012 (116), 2013 (116) and 2014 (130). Since 2008, the data has included both directly operated (DO) and purchased transportation (PT) modes. 

l Transit total subtract highway-rail grade crossing. 

m 1992-97 data are obtained from the Marine Safety Management Information System. Between 1998 and 2000, the U.S. Coast Guard phased in a new computer system to track safety data, the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement System. During this period, data are obtained from combining entries in the Marine Safety Management Information System with entries in the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement System. Data after 2002 comes from the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement System.  Statistics for prior years may not be directly comparable due to the revised method of capture.

Source: 

Air:

Air carrier:

1960: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1967 (Washington, DC: December 1968).

1965-70: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1975, NTSB/ARC-77/1 (Washington, DC: January 1977). 

1975: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1983, NTSB/ARC-87/01 (Washington, DC: February 1987), table 18.

1980: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1981, NTSB/ARC-85/01 (Washington, DC: February 1985), tables 2 and 16.

1985-2006: Ibid., personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2007-12: National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Statistics, table 5, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of Jun. 25, 2014.  

2013-14: National Transportation Safety Board, Preliminary Aviation Statistics, table 5, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/data/Pages/Accident-data-review.aspx as of Aug. 9, 2016.  

Commuter air carrier:

1975-80: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1980, NTSB/ARC-83/01 (Washington, DC: January 1983), tables 26 and 40. 

1985-2006: Ibid., personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2007-12: National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Statistics, table 8, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of Jun. 25, 2014.  

2013-14: National Transportation Safety Board, Preliminary Aviation Statistics, table 8, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/data/Pages/Accident-data-review.aspx as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

On-demand air taxi:

1975-80: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: U.S. Air Carrier Operations, Calendar Year 1981, NTSB/ARC-85/01 (Washington, DC: February 1985), table 61.

1985-2006: Ibid., personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2007-12: National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Statistics, table 9, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of Jun. 25, 2014.  

2013-14: National Transportation Safety Board, Preliminary Aviation Statistics, table 9, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/data/Pages/Accident-data-review.aspx as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

General aviation:

1960-70: National Transportation Safety Board, Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: General Aviation, Calendar Year 1970, NTSB/ARG-74/1 (Washington, DC: April 1974), table 117. 

1975-80: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data: General Aviation, Calendar Year 1985, NTSB/ARG-87/03 (Washington, DC: October 1987), table 21. 

1985-2006: Ibid., personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2007-12: National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Statistics, table 10, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats.html as of Jun. 25, 2014.  

2013-14: National Transportation Safety Board, Preliminary Aviation Statistics, table 10, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/data/Pages/Accident-data-review.aspx as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

Highway:

Total:

U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Traffic Safety Facts.

1988-2014: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Traffic Safety Facts (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 1, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/cats/listpublications.aspx?Id=E&ShowBy=DocType as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

Passenger car, motorcycle, light truck, large truck, and bus:

1990-2006 ;U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Fatality Analysis Reporting System Database and General Estimates System Database.

2007-14: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Traffic Safety Facts, table 36, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/cats/listpublications.aspx?Id=E&ShowBy=DocType as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

Rail:

Highway-rail grade crossings:

1960-70: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Policy and Program Development, Rail-Highway Grade-Crossing Accidents (Washington, DC: Annual Issues).

1975-2014: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, table 5.14, Hwy Rail Accident Incident Summary By Railroad, available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

Railroad:

1970: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Policy and Program Development, Accident/Incident Bulletin (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 4.

1975-2014: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, table 1.12, Ten Year Accident/Incident Overview by Railroad, available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

Transit:

Transit Total:

1990-2011: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Transit Safety, Safety and Security Statistics, available at http://transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov/data/samis/default.aspx?ReportID=1 as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

Highway-rail grade crossings:

1960-2007: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Office of Program Management, personal communication, Sept. 4, 2007.

2008-14: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, personal communication, Oct. 14, 2010, Nov. 4, 2011, Jan. 18, 2013, Jan. 8, 2015 and Jun. 20, 2016.

Water:

Vessel-related:

1970-91: U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Investigations and Analysis, Compliance Analysis Division, personal communication, Apr. 13, 1999.

1992-2005: U.S Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Data Administration Division (G-MRI-1), personal communication, June 8, 2005.

2006-14: U.S Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Investigations and Analysis, Compliance Analysis Division, personal communication, Nov. 20, 2012 and Nov. 12, 2013, Aug. 31, 2015 and May 2016.

Recreational boating:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Boating Safety, Boating Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 29, available at http://www.uscgboating.org/statistics/accident_statistics.php as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

Hazardous liquid and gas pipeline:

1970-85: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety, Accident and Incident Summary Statistics by Year, available at http://ops.dot.gov as of Nov. 18, 2003. 

1990-2014: U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety, Accident and Incident Summary Statistics by Year, available at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/library/datastatistics/pipelineinciden... as of Aug. 9, 2016. 

Publications found in: