Transportation accident numbers holding steady in Canada

February 21, 2013
Feb. 21, 2013, Gatineau, Que. - Today the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its annual statistical highlights of railway, pipeline, marine and aviation accidents and incidents in Canada. These statistics show accident rates in Canada are holding steady.

Overall in 2012, approximately 8 transportation occurrences were reported to the TSB each day, which is the same as last year. However, 2012 saw an increase in the number of fatalities. Of the 2881 total occurrences reported, there were 157 fatalities, up from 154 in 2011.

The number of railway accidents in 2012 was similar to the previous year's, but there were slightly more fatalities. Rail-related fatalities totalled 82 in 2012, compared with 71 in 2011 and the 5-year average of 76. Fewer accidents involving passenger trains occurred, with 48 in 2012, down from 68 the year before and the 5-year average of 72. Trespasser-related occurrences totalled 74, up from 67 the previous year.

Meanwhile, the pipeline industry reported 7 accidents in 2012, up from 5 in 2011. The number of pipeline incidents increased to 173, up from 167 the year before.

The number of marine accidents declined in 2012. Accidents fell by 12% since 2011, from 326 to 286, and by 27% from the 2007-2011 average of 391. Reportable incidents increased to 274 from 221 in 2011, up from the 5-year average of 248. The Board is encouraged that there were fewer accidents involving fishing vessels in 2012 than there were in 2011. The number of fishing vessels involved in accidents decreased to 98 from 121 in 2011, down from the average of 152 from 2007-2011.There were 12 marine fatalities in 2012, down from 16 in 2011.

There was a 13% increase in aviation accidents in 2012, which saw 290 accidents, up from 257 in 2011, but comparable to the 5-year average of 292. A total of 926 occurrences were reported to the TSB, 16% less than the 2007-2011 average of 1100 occurrences. There were 63 fatalities related to air occurrences in 2012. Accidents involving air taxi operations continue to make up almost 50% of all commercial air accidents.

A reportable transportation occurrence is any accident or incident associated with the operation of a ship, pipeline, railway rolling stock or aircraft.

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