Fatal Trespasser Strikes in the United States: 2012-2017

The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) supports the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in addressing rail trespass and suicide prevention research, including the improvement of data quality and consistency. This report provides a summary of FRA trespasser strike data from calendar years 2012–2017, including intentional (suicide) and accidental or inconclusive (non-suicide) fatalities on rights-of-way (ROWs). A chart is presented showing the number of fatal suicide and non-suicide strikes by year, showing fairly consistent numbers throughout the time period. The results of the analysis show that California, New York, Florida, and Texas consistently had the highest number of fatal trespasser strikes, regardless of intent. Fatal suicide strikes most often occur during the spring, while non-suicides occur most often in the summer. Suicides tend to take place during later evening hours (8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.) on both weekdays and weekends, while non-suicides tend to occur during weekday evening commute hours (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.), and during early morning hours on weekends (12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.). Individuals are most likely to be between age 15 and 34 for all fatal strikes. At the time of the strike, fatal suicides most often involve an individual lying down, while for non-suicides, individuals are most often walking/stepping. Suicides and non-suicide strikes both involve freight trains more often than passenger trains.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 4p
  • Serial:
    • Research Results
    • Issue Number: RR 20-01
    • Publisher: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01729995
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: Feb 3 2020 12:23PM