(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) The National Transportation Safety Board reported yesterday that "transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 9.2 percent in 2009 from 2008, according to preliminary figures. The data indicate that transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 35,928 in 2009, compared to 39,569 in 2008."
Highway fatalities -- which account for nearly 95% of all transportation deaths -- decreased from 37,423 in 2008 to 33,808 in 2009. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced last month that road deaths have dropped to their lowest level since 1950.
The only categories to see an increase were pipeline fatalities, which went up from eight to 14, and marine deaths, which went from 783 to 817.
Earlier this week, the NHTSA unveiled changes to the government’s 5-Star Safety Rating System that made it more difficult for cars and trucks to earn top scores.