Railroad Deaths and Injuries

Railroad deaths totaled 893 in 2021, a 20% increase from the 2020 revised total of 744 and the highest since 2007. Nonfatal injuries totaled 5,781, a 4% increase from the 2020 revised total of 5,544. From 2020 to 2021, fatalities at highway-rail crossings increased 21%, while fatalities involving other types of incidents increased 20%. The latter included 617 deaths (94%) attributed to trespassers. Eleven employees were killed while on duty, equal to the 2020 death toll. There were six train passenger deaths, up from two deaths in 2020.

The ratio of railroad-related deaths to nonfatal injuries and illnesses is about 1:6. In 2021, of the total 893 deaths, 26% occurred at rail-crossings. Of the 3,216 nonfatal occupational railroad injuries and illnesses reported in 2021, 66 were attributed to highway-rail crossing incidents.

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