Safety in Transportation Factoids


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1. The Golden Gate Bridge’s distinctive orange color was not intended to be permanent. The color is from the primer used to protect the bridge from corrosive elements. This color was selected over black and yellow stripes the Navy wanted, or the candy-cane red and white the Army Air Corps wanted, both of which were designed to be seen in the heavy fog that often surrounds the area. The orange color is still visible in the fog while complementing the natural color of the landscape.

Source: 6 Things you May Not Know About the Golden Gate Bridge, History

2. One in nine of the United States’ bridges is rated as structurally deficient and the average age of the nation’s 607,380 bridges is approximately 42 years.

Source: 2013 Report Card For America’s Infrastructure: Bridges, ASCE

3. There was a 7.7% increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people died in 2015, up from the 32, 675 reported facilities in 2014. The most significant increases came for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Source: Traffic Safety Facts, July 2016, U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

4. In 2013, large trucks were involved in 3,906 fatal crashes, 73,000 crashes causing injuries, and 265,000 crashes causing property damage.

Source: Truck Accident Statistics Made Simple, Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC

5. American students are nearly eight times safer riding in a school bus than in their parents and guardians’ cars.

Source: Safety: School Buses are the Safest Way to Get to School, American School Bus Council

6. Based on accident rates for airline flights, cruise is the safest part of flying. Only about 8 percent of all accidents occur during this phase. Approximately 30 percent of all fatal accidents occur during takeoff and climb. Nearly 50 percent of fatal accidents occur during descent, approach and landing. The remaining 12 percent of fatal accidents occur during non-flight phases including taxi, passenger boarding, etc.

Source: Aviation Safety FAQ, Boeing

7. In a single year, the U.S. Coast Guard responded to 19,790 search and rescue cases and saved 3,560 lives and more than $77 million in property.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Facts, USCG Boating

8. Passengers can play a role in safety, too. Airlines recommend wearing natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk or leather, which offer the best protection in the event of a fire or evacuation and avoiding synthetics such as nylon, rayon or poly-cotton blends, which can melt when heated. Passengers should wear closed-toed shoes with secure laces or straps and avoid high heels because these can puncture an escape slide.

Source: Aviation Safety FAQ, Boeing

9. In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involv­ing distracted drivers. This represents a 6.7% decrease in the number of fatalities recorded in 2012. Unfortunately, approximately 424,000 people were injured by distracted drivers in 2013, which is an increase from the 421,000 people who were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers in 2012.

Source: Key Facts and Statistics, Distraction.gov

10. Ten percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

Source: Key Facts and Statistics, Distraction.gov


Erin Skoog
Fast Forward: Volume 3 Issue 5 – Safety