A new report from the U.S. Coast Guard states that Florida led the nation in boating accidents in 2014, with 577 total. The state was also the leader in boating deaths with 67.
Just how prominent are boating accidents in Florida? The state actually had triple the amount as the state that came in second, New York — which had 174.
The common nature of boating accidents in Florida may be partially attributed to the sheer number of registered boats in the state. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 899,635 registered vessels in 2014. Obviously, the more boats that are on the water, the more opportunities there are for a serious accident to occur.
Is there more to the story?
There very well could have been many more incidents on Florida’s waterways that went unreported. Federal regulations only require boaters to report accidents if they involved injuries requiring treatment beyond simple First Aid, if there was damage to property totaling more than $2,000, if there was a complete loss of a vessel or if there was a death or disappearance.
The Coast Guard report also revealed the top four causes of boating accidents in the state last year, which were failure to pay attention, lack of boating experience, driver distraction and speeding. Florida residents who wish to legally operate boat must have a card showing they completed boater safety education training if they were born after January 1, 1988.
For more information on your legal options if you’ve been injured in a Florida boating accident, meet with a skilled Bradenton personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.