Transportation deaths in the United States rose to 43,134 last year, up by 384, or 0.9 percent, from 42,750 in 1993, according to a preliminary count by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Highway and street accidents contributed the biggest part of the growth and caused the largest number of deaths. Last year 40,400 people died, up from 40,115 a year earlier, the board said Monday.
More than half of the victims, 21,940, died in cars, essentially unchanged from the year before. The next largest group, 8,650, died in light trucks and vans; another 5,570 were pedestrians.
Transportation experts say rising speeds on the highways and an increase in the number of miles driven may have contributed to the increase.
Deaths on major airlines jumped from one in 1993 to 237 in 1994, mostly because of three crashes: USAir in Charlotte, N.C., on July 2, and near Pittsburgh on Sept. 8, and American Eagle in Roselawn, Ind., on Oct. 31.