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Florida Boating Accidents

You might expect that Florida would have more boating accident than inland states. But why does the Sunshine State lead the nation in boating accidents and in boating fatalities? Regardless of the reasons, if you are involved in such an accident, a local personal injury attorney may be worth contacting.

Key Causes of Boating Accidents

One factor putting Florida at the top of the heap in terms of boating accidents may be that it has more shoreline than any other state in the continental U.S. That makes all other factors related to accidents all the more worth paying attention to, Issues related to these incidents include:

  • Inexperienced drivers: Even though Florida law mandates safety training, many drivers fail to complete such coursework;
  • Distracted drivers/improper lookout: When good times on deck interfere with the driver’s focus on the path ahead, it can be problematic;
  • Drunk drivers: When operating a boat, the same rules associated with alcohol apply as for individuals operating a car. Impaired driving can have serious consequences on the water.
  • Speeding drivers: Boat drivers who zoom around crowded waterways put everyone in the area at risk;
  • Boat malfunctions: It can be dangerous to be stranded on a vessel that has lost power, has sprung a leak, or is otherwise malfunctioning.

Most Common Boating Incidents

It is notable that four of the five most common boating issues are related to driver error. That being said, it is worth looking at the statistics related to accidents.

Types of Accidents

In 2015 alone, there were nearly 700 reported boating accidents in Florida. The most common boating accidents in 2015 alone include:

  • 164 collisions with other vessels on the water;
  • 153 crashes into stationary objects;
  • 95 flooding of the boat;
  • 47 boats that becoming grounded;
  • 47 fires occurred on boats
  • 20 boats capsized.

There were 390 documented injuries, and 52 fatalities associated with boating accidents. Furthermore, 32 people were accidentally ejected from boats, 7 were hit with boat propellers, and other vessels hit 5.

Which Boats Are Most Often Involved in Accidents?

The boats that are most often involved in accidents include:

  • Open motorized boats;
  • Personally owned boats;
  • Cabin motor boats;
  • Kayaks and canoes;
  • Pontoons.

Financial Costs

The financial implications of boating accidents in this country are tremendous, approaching $50 million in 2016 according to Coast Guard documents. They list a number of factors as contributing to boating fatalities, including:

  • Use of alcohol; and/or drugs
  • Improper lookout;
  • Violation of boating navigation rules;
  • Overloaded boats.

Following an Accident

If you or a loved one is seriously injured because a boat operator is reckless, negligent, or otherwise inadequate, your frustrations deserve to be addressed with a competent and aggressive legal team. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, we understand the difficulty of dealing with avoidable accidents, and believe those accidents should not go unchallenged. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a free, confidential consultation to address the costs associated with your accident today.