Common Causes of Boating Accidents

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According to USCG Statistics, the number of deaths resulting from boating accidents actually fell in 2017. Yet, the number was still higher than 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 which shows the danger that still exists. While deaths stood at 658 over the course of those twelve months, there were also just over 2,600 injuries.

Unfortunately, boating accidents are still common across the country and they still occur in Florida too. According to recent statistics, there are more unregistered vessels than registered vessels. With around 915,000 registered water crafts across the state, the number of unregistered vessels is thought to be at least one million and this number is scarily growing.

When vessels are unregistered on the water, there’s also a risk that the operator has a lack of experience not only with the vessel itself but with being on the water with others. Of course, this has obvious risks and causes around 400 accidents each year. In fact, let’s dive deeper into the 2014 statistics from the United States Coast Guard and review the most common causes.

  • Inebriated Operator – 248 injuries and 108 deaths (277 accidents)
  • Speeding – 267 injuries and 23 deaths (282 accidents)
  • Inexperienced Operator – 256 injuries and 44 deaths (391 accidents)
  • Improper Lookout – 321 injuries and 26 deaths (431 accidents)
  • Lack of Attention – 370 injuries and 38 deaths (563 accidents)

Weather and Dangerous Conditions

For the eagle-eyed among us, you’ll notice that we haven’t mentioned dangerous weather and poor conditions on the water; we thought this deserved an explanation in itself. If we use the same statistics as a guide, this caused 100 deaths (second only to alcohol use). Additionally, it caused 359 accidents and 168 injuries.

Although hazardous weather doesn’t lead to the most deaths, it does cause a significant number of deaths per accident. On the other hand, lack of attention and having a poor lookout cause lots of accidents but these tend to be mostly smaller. Ultimately, the two most deadly killers are dangerous conditions and alcohol; one of which can be prevented ENTIRELY.

In Florida, operating a vessel under the influence has the same laws as driving on the road. The operator must have blood alcohol content under 0.08 units. For those who operate a watercraft while drunk, this can also lead to legal problems.

Feel free to get in touch with The Injury Firm today if you’ve suffered an injury after a boating accident!

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