The Florida sunshine, plus beautiful weather, add a little heat and the results are an exciting equation, many times summing up to be a day out on the water. Boating is known to be an excellent hobby, and a fun way to connect with friends and nature. In South Florida the boating possibilities seem endless. Just pack a lunch, some cold drinks, and a swimsuit then kick back to see where the wind may blow. Unfortunately, the course of what was meant to be a fun filled boating activity can change suddenly and for unexpected reasons, sometimes ending in awful tragedies.
In 2013 the national numbers of Recreational Boating Statistics Report lowered, however Florida’s count went up, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Florida’s toll accounted for 16.8 percent of the country’s serious on-the-water boating accidents. Reports state there were 685 Florida incidents 2013, the highest in the United States, and also an increase from 2012’s count of 662 accidents. Fatalities from Florida -boating accidents were also the highest in the country, reaching 58 in 2013, which is 8 more deaths than the previous year.
The second highest boating accident count comes from California, its numbers reaching 426, and New York was third with 180. It is reported that only 11 other states had more than 100 serous boat accidents.
Some contributing factors to boating accidents are “operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents” according to the Coast Guard. They also state that the leading known contributing factor in fatal accidents is alcohol and linked to 16 percent of the crashes where the cause could be determined. Drowning made up over three-fourths of the deaths, but most of the serious accidents cited were as a result of collisions between two boats.
While life should be enjoyed, the numbers don’t lie. Whether boating is a favorite pastime or you just plan to jump aboard a watercraft for some random fun out on the water, be sure to practice boating safety.
In the event that you or a loved one was injured while on board a boat or watercraft, Call Steinger, Iscoe & Greene to find out your legal rights. By speaking with one of our boating accident attorney’s we can help answer your questions. As the professionals, you can trust us to determine the steps necessary to getting you what you deserve and to attain the compensation you need to pay for your suffering and medical bills.
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