There’s still a bit of summer left, which means the waterways will continue to be crowded with boaters looking to take advantage of the warm weather and sunshine. Because Florida is one of the most popular states for boating, it should come as no surprise that it frequently leads the nation in boating accidents.
There were 679 recorded boating accidents in 2019, of which 55 were fatal and resulted in 62 deaths. The most common factors reported in boating accidents were operator inexperience or inattention, improper lookout, speeding and alcohol use.
Here are just a few eye-opening statistics you should be aware of as a boater as you take to the water:
- Just under half (45 percent) of all boating accidents involve open motorboats. About 19 percent involve personal watercraft vessels, and another 16 percent involve cabin motorboats. This data comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard.
- About 79 percent of fatalities in boating accidents were the result of drowning.
- Approximately 86 percent of people who died in boating accidents were not wearing life jackets.
What does all of this mean? For one, it shows how important it is to wear life jackets when you’re out on the water, as this can save your life if you are ejected from the boat in an accident.
In addition, it is important that anyone operating a boat have the necessary experience and training to do so. In Florida, people below a certain age are required to undergo training and licensure to be able to legally operate a boat in the state.
If you are involved in a boating accident caused by another person’s negligence, we encourage you to contact an experienced Sarasota accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh for legal representation in your accident claim.