Mar 5

What You Should Know About Boating Accidents

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Yearly, Florida has one of the highest incidence of boating accidents in the country. This is not surprising, considering the abundance of rivers, waterways, lakes, and of course, the Atlantic ocean in our state. And when you consider the way the weather warms quickly, it is expected that there would be a rise in boating accidents in our area. While some of these accidents will cause only minor injuries and/or damages, others would lead to life-altering injuries or even fatalities. If you or your loved ones have been involved in a boating accident which was caused by someone else, our Boating Accident Attorney in Florida is ready to assist you in securing the compensation that you deserve.

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Boating Accident facts

Based on the 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics made available by the United States Coast Guard, 4,463 boating accidents were recorded that year, this included;
– 701 deaths
– 2,903 injuries
– Approx. $49 million in property damage

There was an 11 percent increase in fatality rate from the previous year, while the number of accidents increased by more than 7 percent. The most common accident types enumerated in the report included:

  • Collision with another luxury vessel;
  • Collision with a stationary object;
  • Swamping or flooding;
  •  Grounding; and
  • Capsizing./li>

The vessel types that recorded the highest casualty numbers included:

  • Open motorboats;
  • Personal watercraft;
  • Cabin motorboats;
  •  Canoes or kayaks and
  •  Pontoon boats.

Factors contributing to boating and watercraft accidents

The report presented by the United States Coast Guard revealed a wide range of factors which influence boating accidents. Aside from machinery failure, the six factors that caused accidents are attributed to the boat operator’s recklessness or negligence:

  • Operator inattention; this is to be blamed for 597 accidents, 373 injuries, and 45 deaths
  •  Operator inexperience; this is to be blamed for 480 accidents, 301 injuries, and 62 deaths
  •  Improper lookout; this is to blame for 475 accidents, 380 injuries and 20 deaths
  •  Excessive speed; this is to blame for 360 accidents, 275 injuries, and 39 deaths
  • Alcohol use; this is to be blamed for 282 accidents, 264 injuries, and 87 deaths

The above-listed factors are listed under the category “Operation of Vessel,” making it evident that majority of boat accidents are caused by factors that fall within the boat operator’s control, instead of factors beyond their control, such as weather or hazardous waters.

Tips for safe boating

It is important for boaters to know that your safety and the safety of your passengers are your responsibility. Below are a few tips to keep you safe so you can have an enjoyable outing:

1. Carry out a boat safety check:
Although this may appear simplistic, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Check that you have enough gas and that your batteries are well-charged. Inspect your boat hull for holes or cracks. Also, ensure that your bilge pump is in good working condition.
2. Check your life jacket:
Ensure that you have new life jackets on board that cut across different sizes so it can be used by all your passengers.
3. Leave your emergency radio on:
The weather in Florida, particularly during spring and summer, can change quickly. Therefore, it is important that you keep your radio on so you can receive any broadcasted weather warnings.
4. Watch your speed:
Obey all speed limit signs.
5. Never operate a watercraft or boat when intoxicated:
Just like on roadways, it is not a wise idea to operate a boat or watercraft when you are under the influence of alcohol. It is important you are fully aware of your surroundings and other boaters around you.
6. Know the rules:
Before the start of the boating season, it is important that you be abreast of important boating regulations.
The Role of a Boating Accident Attorney in Florida
If you have been involved in any personal injury accident, including any sustained on water, you can schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorney in Florida. Our experienced personal injury attorney in Florida will help you to know how much claims you are entitled to and will work hard towards securing your benefits.