Annual railroad passenger fatality data in the period 1890 to 1977 is examined and analyzed using the method of Extremal Probability Theory. The principal findings are: 1) The annual railroad passenger fatality rate has been, on the average, declining exponentially in this time period. 2) But major fluctuations in the fatality rate about its mean value have remained relatively constant in this same time period. 3) This suggests that it is the number of fatal accidents which have been declining but that improvements in reducing the severity of individual accidents has not kept pace; which in turn, suggests that major effort must now also be directed towards adopting crashworthiness measures in order to reduce the severity of any individual accident (as well as continuing the successful program of reducing the number of accidents.) 4) Utilizing Extremal Probability Theory, estimates have been obtained for the probability of accident severity (aggregated over the year). This is expected to be useful for FRA safety planning purpose in that it provides probability estimates for the magnitude of future railroad passenger fatalities and the time within which this magnitude will be reached.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway, Kendall Square
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142
  • Authors:
    • Kahn, D
  • Publication Date: 1978-5-18

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures;
  • Pagination: 18 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00194860
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Systems Center
  • Report/Paper Numbers: SS-20-U5-43
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 11 1979 12:00AM