The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has published its summary of preliminary transportation occurrence statistics from 2022, showing accidents are below the five-year average for the rail, air, marine and pipeline sectors. Incidents, however, are up for rail and marine.
A total of 1,377 rail occurrences (accidents and incidents) were reported to the TSB in 2022, up 11% from the previous year’s 1,235. Of these, 1,082 were rail accidents. While accidents were up 0.4% from the prior year’s 1,041, they were down approximately 2% from the five-year average (1,108). Among the accidents, 107 involved dangerous goods, up 0.24% from the 2021 total of 86, but down 0.8% from the five-year average of 116. According to TSB, two accidents resulted in a dangerous goods release.
In 2022, there were 66 rail-related fatalities reported, up 0.1% from the 60 reported in 2021 and virtually flat with the five-year average of 65. Of these fatalities, 52 stemmed from trespassing accidents, up 0.24% from the 42 reported in 2021. According to TSB, trespassing accidents remain the primary cause of fatalities, accounting for 79% of all rail fatalities, followed by crossing accidents, which decreased 0.13% to 14 fatalities in 2022 from 16 the previous year.
There were 35 accidents involving an uncontrolled movement in 2022, up 0.06% from the 33 reported in 2021 and down 0.20% from the five-year average of 44. Last year, there were nine incidents of uncontrolled movement of rolling stock, a decrease of 0.31% from the 13 reported in 2021 and a decrease of 0.40% from the five-year average 15. According to TSB, the unplanned/uncontrolled movement of rail equipment was added to the agency’s watchlist in 2020.
Additionally, 295 railway incidents were reported in 2022, representing a 52% increase from 2021’s 194 and a 24% increase from the five-year average of 237. A total of 136 of the 295 (46%) railway incidents in 2022 were categorized as “movement exceeds limits of authority” incidents, 27 more than in 2021 and five more than the five-year average of 131.
Among the 2022 statistics for the other transportation modes:
- Air Transportation: A total of 887 air transportation occurrences (accidents and incidents) were reported to the TSB, an increase of 28% over 2021 (691). Of these, a total of 165 were aviation accidents, a decrease from the 191 accidents reported in 2021; which is 20% lower than the five-year average of 206, despite a continued increase of activity in the commercial aviation sector, according to TSB. Of the total occurrences, 722 were aviation incidents, which is an increase from the previous year (500) and close to the five-year average (727).
- Marine Transportation: A total of 1,209 marine transportation occurrences (accidents and incidents) were reported to the TSB, a decrease of 10% from the previous year (1,076). Of these, a total of 239 were marine accidents, a slight increase from 2021 (220), but approximately 10% below the five-year average (266). Additionally, 970 marine incidents were reported, an increase from 2021 (856) and a 7% increase from the five-year average (908).
- Pipeline Transportation: A total of 67 pipeline occurrences (accidents and incidents) were reported to the TSB, a decrease of 42% from the previous year (116). Of these, there was one pipeline accident; compared to two in 2021. Of the total occurrences, 66 were pipeline incidents, which TSB said was well below the total of 114 in 2021 and the five-year average of 97.
According to TSB, these statistics reflect the information contained in TSB modal occurrence databases on Jan. 16, 2023. “Since the occurrence data are constantly being updated in the live database, the statistics may change slightly over time,” the agency reported. In late spring, TSB will release the final statistics reports, which the agency said will include “accident rates and a more thorough analysis of the updated data, which may vary slightly from this preliminary data.”