Aviation in 2010 proved to be the vehicular travel mode with the lowest fatalities in the US, according to year-end figures released by the US National Transportation Safety Board.
Of the 34,925 deaths attributed to the highway, rail, marine and aviation modes of travel, aviation accounted for 472 fatalities, or about 1.4% of the total. Automobile accidents, by contrast, accounted for 32,885 deaths or 94% of the total, slightly down from the 33,883 highway fatalities in 2009.
Within aviation, airline fatalities dropped from 52 in 2009 to two in 2010, with the commuter sector recording zero fatalities in 2010, as in 2009. Fatalities in the air taxi sector remained at 17 in 2010, the same number as 2009.
As in 2009, the majority of aviation deaths occurred in the general aviation segment, with 450 fatalities in 2010, down 6% from the 478 deaths in 2009.
Non-US-registered aircraft were involved in accidents in the US that resulted in three fatalities in 2010, down one death from the 2009 count.