The Risks of Personal Watercraft Accidents Increase with Inexperienced Riders
Every year, countless tourists take to the Florida waterways seeking the type of fun they cannot get year-round in their home states. Renting personal watercraft is particularly attractive because these vehicles require little training to operate and offer the thrill of traveling at high speeds. But even for experienced riders, this type of excitement, combined with the overall lack of protection from these vehicles, can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Less skilled watercraft operators increase the risk of dangers to themselves and to all boats in the water.
Recent statistics indicate that personal watercraft (PWC) accidents occur at a proportionally higher rate than their numbers represent in the water. In its 2012 Boating Accidents Statistical Report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission revealed the following:
- PWCs accounted for 13 percent of all registered vessels in Florida.
- A full 19 percent (132) of reportable boating accidents involved PWCs, resulting in seven fatalities.
- Out of 132 PWC accidents, 45 percent involved a collision with another vessel.
These PWC accident statistics do not identify liability. Although it may seem reasonable to assume that the riders of the PWCs may have operated with less caution than those in the larger boats, only a detailed investigation into each incident can reveal which operator or vessel was responsible. It is easy to see, however, that PWC riders are more vulnerable to injury when collisions occur.
If you were injured in an accident with a personal watercraft or other vessel, consult an attorney to learn about your options for taking legal action.