Table 5-1: Transportation Fatalities by Freight Transportation Mode
As freight grows to a larger share of total transportation activity, its negative aspects become a larger part of the safety, energy, and environmental consequences of transportation. Particularly in environmental matters, freight is only now being separated from the air quality and other problems of general traffic. Most of our current knowledge is in safety, with some in energy consumption. More knowledge is needed to understand and fix the problems.
Nearly 5,000 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2003, although only 723 of those were large truck occupants. Fatalities involving large trucks are about 12 percent of all highway fatalities, while trucks account for about 8 percent of highway VMT. Despite a rise in the amount of large truck travel, the number of fatalities involving large trucks declined 16 percent from 1980 to 2003.
|Total transportation fatalities (passenger and freight)||NA||47,347||44,333||NA|
|Highway (passenger and freight)||51,091||44,599||41,945||42,643|
|Large truck occupants1||1,262||705||754||723|
|Others killed in crashes involving large trucks||4,709||4,567||4,528||4,263|
|Large truck occupants1 (percent)||2.5||1.6||1.8||1.7|
|Others killed in crashes involving large trucks (percent)||9.2||10.2||10.8||10.0|
|Railroad (passenger and freight)||1,417||1,297||937||856|
|Waterborne (passenger and freight)||487||186||137||76|
|Tug / towboat||14||13||0||8|
|Mobile offshore drilling units||NA||0||0||0|
|Hazardous liquid pipeline||4||3||1||0|
Key: NA = not available.
1Large trucks are defined as trucks over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, including single-unit trucks and truck tractors.
3Includes train accidents and other incidents. Most fatalities are trespassers who are included under other incidents (499 in 2003).
4Vessel-related casualties include those involving damage to vessels such as collisions or groundings. Fatalities not related to vessel casualties include deaths from falling overboard or from accidents involving onboard equipment.
5Railroad fatalities are preliminary. Waterborne fatalities are for 2002.
Note: Caution must be exercised in comparing fatalities across modes because significantly different definitions are used.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, National Transportation Statistics 2004 (Washington, DC: forthcoming).