An increase in motorcycle and pedestrian deaths contributed to an overall rise in highway fatalities in 2005, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced this week. However, the number of fatalities from large truck crashes declined 0.4 percent from 5,235 to 5,212. NHTSA also said truck occupant deaths rose 4.8 percent to 803, up from 766 in 2004. Total people injured in truck-involved crashes — including truck occupants, other vehicle occupants and non-occupants — declined 1.7 percent to 114,000 from 116,000. The truck fatality rate won't be available until later this year, after the number of truck miles traveled is calculated. NHTSA collects crash statistics annually from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to produce annual reports of traffic fatality trends. The 2005 report can be seen at: