Florida leads the nation in boating accidents. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2018, the state reported 607 boating accidents, causing $7 million in damages, injuring hundreds and costing 57 people their lives. Boating accidents, especially in Florida, happen more often than you might think, and the number of registered recreational vessels is climbing every year.
Some of the Most Common Reasons for Boating Accidents
With summer on its way, it’s a good idea to refresh your memory about all the potential dangers of boating and how to stay safe. The most common reasons that boating accidents occur are:
Inattentive operator – an inattentive operator is the number one reason for
boating accidents. To drive a boat safety, the operator must be watchful of
everything around the vessel, including weather conditions, objects,
waterway signage, and people.
Inexperienced boater – the Coast Guard lists inexperienced boaters as
one of the top three reasons for boating accidents. A person who does not
understand the boating “rules of the road,” or has not learned the proper
methods of handling the craft, is a danger to themselves and others.
Excessive speed – going too fast, just like on the roadways, can cause
accidents and make it more difficult to react quickly to situations.
Impairment – it is illegal to operate a water vessel while impaired. Drugs
and alcohol cause dozens of serious boating accidents every year. Being
under the influence reduces your awareness and ability to react quickly to
Dangerous weather conditions – boating in rough weather is another top
factor in accidents. Boaters should always check the weather before
heading out and watch for signs of a shift to take quick precautionary
Equipment failure or negligent maintenance – a poorly maintained vessel
is another common reason for boating accidents. It is the owner’s
responsibility to maintain the boat and keep it safe for passengers.
If you or a loved one has been in a serious boating accident, after getting medical help, call a Florida boating accident attorney to explore your options. For a free consultation, please call (305) 670-0101 or email at email@example.com.