Boating Accident Statistics
Recreational boating accidents in the United States are more common than you may expect. In fact, according to the United States Cost Guard (USCG), there were 4,515 recreational boating accidents in 2012 alone. From these, there were 651 fatalities and approximately 3,000 injuries. Not surprisingly, Florida accounted for 662 of these accidents — the most in the nation and almost twice as many as the runner-up, California.
The USCG and Department of Homeland Security publish yearly statistics on recreational boating accidents throughout the United States. These figures reveal some startling facts and trends about the nature and causes of recreational boating accidents, including the following:
- Collision with another vessel was the most common cause in 2012, accounting for 1,010 incidents. These types of accidents caused 711 injuries and 47 fatalities.
- Fixed object collisions accounted for 475 accidents, leading to 340 injuries and 50 fatalities.
- Groundings accounted for 422 incidents and 244 injuries but only 10 fatalities.
- The most common cause of death was drowning, accounting for 458 fatalities. In more than 80 percent of these cases, the victim was not wearing a life jacket.
- The most common cause of boating accidents was operator distraction or inattention. This accounted for 13 percent of all incidents as well as 359 injuries and 47 deaths.
- However, the most common cause of fatal boating accidents was alcohol use. This accounted for 17 percent of all fatalities despite only accounting for six percent of all accidents.
- Some other common causes were operator inexperience, machinery failure, excessive speed and navigation rules violations.
Much as is the case in car accidents, determining what exactly led to a boating mishap can be a challenge. An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can thoroughly investigate your boat accident case and determine who should be held legally responsible.