The U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities around Florida were on high alert and prepared to respond to boating accidents over the Labor Day holiday weekend, especially with the threat of potential severe weather from Hurricane Dorian approaching. Holiday weekends are especially dangerous times of year for boaters, but Florida has a long history of struggling with boating accidents just about all year long.
According to data from the Coast Guard, there were more than 1,400 reported accidents in the state in 2016 and 2017, the latest years for which there is complete information. In those two years, 130 people died from injuries sustained in boating accidents. There were 180 accidents in the Keys alone, with more than 100 people injured and seven people killed.
A closer look at the numbers
Just how much does Florida account for boating accidents in the nation? Its 1,400 reported accidents in 2016 and 2017 accounted for more than 10 percent of the nearly 9,000 total accidents reported across the country in the same time period. The nation saw a total of 5,500 boating injuries and 1,359 deaths in that time. The other states with the highest number of boating accidents were Texas, California, Wisconsin and Ohio.
When looking at other statistics, boaters older than 35 were most commonly at the helm when accidents occur, and operator inattention was far and away the most common cause of the accidents. The accidents occur most frequently in July nationwide, and Saturdays and Sundays are the most common cause of occurrence. The single-largest contributor to boating fatalities is alcohol consumption.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. Work with an experienced Sarasota personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh to learn more about your options.