The National Transportation Safety Board reports that transportation deaths were down between 2007 and 2008. http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2009/090929.html
This good news, that overall fatalities fell from 43,000 to 39,000, is offset by steadily increasing deaths for motorcycle riders and their passengers. This should come as no suprise to regular readers of this website.
Aviation and marine deaths were also up. Bus and commercial motorcoach deaths nearly doubled.
The reasons for the changes are not commented upon in this latest NTSB press release but a variety of our numerous articles and blogs on wrongful death truck, car, and motorcycle crashes offer some likely explanations. http://www.maryland-law.com/library/analysis-of-maryland-car-accident-truck-crash-motorcycle-fatalities.cfm