WASHINGTON — Data released by the National Transportation Safety Board Tuesday revealed 2,030 more people died in transportation accidents in 2016 than in 2015, with highway fatalities accounting for 95 percent of all transportation fatalities in 2016.
The data indicate 39,339 people lost their lives in transportation accidents in 2016, compared with 37,309 who died in 2015.
In addition to the increase in highway fatalities, increases were also seen in the marine and railroad sectors, with a slight decrease in aviation fatalities.
"Unfortunately, we continue to see increases in transportation fatalities," said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. "We can do more, we must do more, to eliminate the completely preventable accidents that claim so many lives each year. Implementation of the 315 open safety recommendations associated with the NTSB’s Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements has the greatest potential to reverse this alarming trend.”
The transportation fatality statistics for calendar year 2016 reveal:
Preliminary aviation accident statistics also released Tuesday show an overall decline in the number of U.S. registered civil aviation accidents. Most notably, the number of fatal general aviation accidents decreased to 213 in 2016, resulting in the fatal accident rate dropping below 1 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours for the first time in 50 years.
The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is typically the busiest travel weekend of the year in the United States and kicks off travel for the holiday season. The NTSB reminds travelers that distracted, drunk and drowsy driving are key factors in highway fatalities.
When traveling by bus, train or plane, stay buckled up (just as if you were in your car), know where your nearest safety exit is and how to use it, and when evacuating, leave your carry-ons behind, stated an NTSB release.